Services fall short in fifth of councils

One in five councils is providing inadequate children’s services,
the annual report of the chief inspector of social services has

The 12th and final annual report before the Social Services
Inspectorate 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 after the Victoria Climbi’ Report
was published 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 with 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. But the report highlights that the audits
focused on initial referrals of children in need and child
protection, while November’s ratings looked at wider children’s

Workforce issues are a recurring theme throughout 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 states.

The report also highlights a 27 per cent rise in the number of
people with physical disabilities receiving direct payments; that
the views of 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 difficulties.

– Report from

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