A council plans to invest £2.5 million into children’s services as part of a plan to implement recommendations made by Ofsted.
Leicestershire council, which was rated ‘requires improvement’ by Ofsted in February, will use the additional funding to create 37 new social care posts in the service and achieve the inspectorate’s 17 recommendations.
The council’s cabinet will discuss the proposals next Friday (15 September).
It hopes extra funding will lead to reduced caseloads and improved services for children. It also believes the investment is necessary to manage the rising care population in Leicestershire, which has grown by more than a third since 2012.
In its inspection report, Ofsted told the council to ensure social worker caseloads were at a level that facilitated good practice. It was also told to improve consistency in social work assessments and make sure practitioners and managers understood and applied thresholds properly.
In total, 16 social workers would be hired using the money, the council said, and the extra social care staff would also include two solicitors to manage care proceedings in court.
The council’s cabinet member for children’s services, Ivan Ould, said: “Ofsted’s report underlines that we’re effectively protecting those most at risk. But, we’re committed to recruiting social workers to reduce caseloads and drive quality across our work.
“Across the country, demand for support is intensifying pressure on vital services. This issue illustrates the tremendous challenge facing councils, including essential services supporting vulnerable people,” he said.
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