Council’s children’s services ‘require improvement’ as vulnerable children do not get help fast enough, report finds

PUBLISHED: 12:28 31 August 2017 | UPDATED: 12:28 31 August 2017

North Somerset Council's children's services were inspected by Ofsted.

North Somerset Council's children's services were inspected by Ofsted.

Archant

Neglected children in North Somerset are not getting help quickly enough and opportunities to intervene are being missed, a report into the area’s children’s services has found.

The education watchdog Ofsted inspected North Somerset Council’s services for children in care and 
its safeguarding measures, and 
found three areas require improvement.

The council says making improvements is a priority, but work is becoming ‘increasingly challenging to deliver’ because of funding cuts.

The report, published on Friday, said: “Children sometimes wait too long in neglectful situations and assessments of parental capacity to change are too optimistic.

“Services put in place are not always effective in reducing risk to children experiencing neglect.

“This can sometimes lead to drift and delay and missed opportunities to intervene earlier.”

The Local Safeguarding Children Board, which is made up of the council and other partners, was found to be inadequate.

Ofsted says the service has improved since the last inspection in 2012, but that there are still ‘pockets of poor practice’.

MORE: Fears for abused and neglected children as social services close to ‘breaking point’.

Improvements have been held back by the high staff turnover and a lack of consistency in how children’s needs are assessed.

Sheila Smith, the council’s director of people and communities, said:

“The report acknowledges a number of areas of good practice and progress since the last inspection, most notably for adopted children and children leaving care as they move into adulthood and independent living.

“The inspection process and report have also given us the opportunity to reflect on areas where we still need to do more to improve to achieve a good 
rating.

“No parts of the services we provide are failing, but there are certainly areas where we need to continue to focus our attention.

“Work in this important area has been, like all parts of local government, subject to successive years of austerity and resources are diminishing while demand for support is increasing. This makes our work increasingly challenging to deliver against a backdrop of cuts.

“However, we are making delivery of these improvements our priority, and will continue to do so.”

Comments have been disabled on this article.

More from Weston Mercury

Yesterday, 19:46

The king of rock ‘n’ roll Elvis Presley’s greatest hits will be brought to life again in Weston this month, with one of the best tribute acts in the country taking to the stage.

Read more
Yesterday, 19:31

Prime Minister Theresa May has handed Weston-super-Mare MP John Penrose a role in Government.

Read more
Yesterday, 19:00

An East Brent woman has been given an award for service to the community.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:58

Five pubs in Weston have been recognised for their excellent real ale selection by being included in the Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA) 2019 Good Beer Guide.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:00

Model railway enthusiasts gathered in Highbridge to spend the day indulging their passion.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:31

The Cases Somerset Rebels management will be holding a fans forum at the Oaktree Arena to explain their decision to revert to the championship.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:00

A blue plaque honouring Dr Fox has been unveiled on his original bath house on Knightstone Island.

Read more
Weston Town Council Weston-super-Mare
Yesterday, 12:28

Hornets defeated Midsomer Norton in a high-scoring Somerset Cup quarter-final tie.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:27

Weston were knocked out of the Somerset Cup in the first round by the students of Bath University.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:26

Hornettes Ladies returned from Bath with a loss in their latest league match.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 4°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists