Prompt action is good - report
PUBLISHED: 13:00 29 August 2012
DESPITE facing ‘unprecedented’ cuts children’s services in North Somerset are doing well - according to watchdogs.
An inspection report, from Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission, covers a number of organisations concerned with the welfare of children and young people in the area.
These included North Somerset Council, NHS North Somerset, Weston Area Health Trust, North Somerset Community Partnership, Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust and Avon and Somerset police.
Inspectors found that where children and young people are identified as being at risk, appropriate and prompt action is taken to safeguard them through strong partnership working.
The inspectors reported that parents, children and young people they met expressed a strong level of satisfaction with services received, even in situations where families were receiving statutory intervention.
It also says the council has been able to reprioritise resources in a number of key areas, focusing on ‘doing things differently rather than cutting services’.
The report said at a corporate level North Somerset Council effectively monitors performance through its regular team meetings.
Inspectors looked at randomly-selected children’s social care files in both safeguarding and looked-after children cases.
Children and young people who met with inspectors indicated that they feel safe living within their families and communities in North Somerset.
North Somerset Council director of children and young people’s services, Sheila Smith, said: “This is a positive report and where there are recommendations these relate to areas of work that we had either already identified or agreed with when raised during the inspection.
“While there are issues for some individual agencies to address, a report that contains 12 ‘good’ judgements and 10 ‘adequate’, with no ‘inadequate’ judgements is no mean feat, given the context in which we are operating.”
The report said the need to generate savings has resulted in the council and partner organisations facing ‘unprecedented’ reductions in funding.
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