Brent improves child protection services, inspectors say

Brent council’s social services department has
significantly improved its child protection arrangements, according
to the latest joint review by the Audit Commission and Social
Services Inspectorate, writes Anabel Unity

The report found Brent serves some people well and has promising
prospects for improvement. It says the local authority had a recent
history of ‘failing’ services, but now has a competent
management team in place focusing on areas that need improving.

However, the reviewers found that the social services budget was
“severely overstretched”, and its financial monitoring contained
“weaknesses”. They recommend Brent maintain a stable workforce,
ensure better access to community care services and improve its
financial monitoring.

Joint review assistant review director Rachel Ayling said Brent
deserved credit for the way it had “systematically tackled
weaknesses over the last two years”.

Mary Cribbin, Brent’s lead member for social services,
said she was confident the council would continue to make
improvements with the help of its key partners.

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