Inspectors find poor prospects for council’s child protection services

Blackpool council’s child protection services are
overstretched and understaffed, according to a joint review report,
writes Anabel Unity Sale.

The Audit Commission and Social Services Inspectorate found that
Blackpool’s child protection services were staffed by
inexperienced personnel with unrealistic workloads. The joint
review team said although Blackpool social services served some
people well overall, its prospects for improvement were poor.

The review also found that the local authority’s in-house
family support service was not sufficiently targeted at preventing
family breakdowns, and did not address Blackpool’s specific
difficulties such as teenage pregnancies.

The report’s recommendations include Blackpool’s
senior management team providing clear leadership and direction;
strengthening child protection arrangements; improving assessment
and care planning for adult services, and improving financial

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