Children’s services inadequate in 20 per cent of councils


Former chief inspector of social
services Denise Platt

One in five local authorities is providing inadequate
children’s services, the annual report of the chief inspector
of social services has revealed, writes Derren

The 12th and final annual report before the SSI is subsumed into
the Commission for Social Care Inspection next year shows that 20
per cent of councils were serving only some children well or were
not serving any children well and had a poor or uncertain capacity
for improvement.

The figures, from a self-audit carried out following the
publication of the Victoria Climbie Inquiry report in January, show
that only 53 per cent of councils were serving most or all children
well and had promising or excellent capacity for improvement.

Overall the audit identified that, compared to 2002’s
refreshed social services star ratings, the performance of
children’s services had improved in 63 councils, stayed
unchanged in 53 and deteriorated in 27. However, the report
highlights that the audits focused on children in need and child
protection, while November’s ratings looked at wider
children’s services.

Workforce issues are a recurring theme throughout former chief
inspector Denise Platt’s report. “It is clear there are
not enough people in the system to do all that is required of the
service,” it said.

Platt has now left her post as chief inspector to become the
shadow chairperson of the Commission for Social Care

The report also highlighted a 27 per cent rise in the number of
people with physical disabilities receiving direct payments; that
the views of black and ethnic minority groups are not being
listened to in planning mental health services; and that 83 per
cent of councils have agreed local plans for using Health Act
flexibilities in developing services for adults with learning

Social Services: A Commitment to the Future 

– the
chief inspector’s 12th annual report

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