Council’s protection standards criticised

Inspectors have criticised Sandwell Council’s social services for failing to ensure children are protected.

A joint area review published by Ofsted said some children on the council’s at-risk register had no social worker assigned to them.

Social services were also closing other cases without conducting final interviews with families.

Health and education services fared slightly better, and were assessed as “adequate”.

Despite these findings, Sandwell hailed the report as a “vote of confidence in the future” because inspectors rated its ability to improve as adequate.

In last year’s annual performance assessment, Sandwell social services received a rating of one out of four for their contribution towards improving outcomes for children.

Ofsted also published reviews on several other councils, including Northamptonshire, Hounslow, Hackney and Gateshead.

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