Solihull children's services rated inadequate in damming report - The Solihull Observer

Solihull children's services rated inadequate in damming report

Solihull Editorial 18th Jan, 2023   0

“CHILDREN in Solihull are not getting the help they need at the right time” and are at risk of harm, according to a report.

An Ofsted inspection of the Council’s children’s services has been rated as Inadequate.

This comes after a Joint Targeted Area Inspection (JTAI) highlighted areas of weaknesses in the multi-agency approach to protecting children across the borough following the death of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes in Shirley.

The latest report published on Friday, January 13, noted the priority action areas in the JTAI ‘have still not been fully addressed’.

Inspectors also said response times to cases are too slow and ‘some children have suffered significant harm’.

It also criticised strategic leaders and partners who did not have an accurate understanding of the poor quality of practice and experiences of children.

Inspectors noted the appointment of a dedicated designated officer to respond to allegations of abuse by professionals allows risks to be identified well with proportionate actions taken to protect children.

And the majority of children in long-term stable foster care make good progress and are encouraged to pursue their interests and hobbies.

The Council said it accepted the findings of the report.

In a statement, Councillor Ian Courts, the leader of Solihull Council, said: “Although we are very disappointed at the grading, we are grateful to the inspection team for the thoroughness and detail put into their work, which will help us to make the necessary improvements.

“This Council is fully committed to making the necessary changes to children’s services and we understand what we need to do to improve and realise that we need to do this at greater speed than we are already doing.

“An Improvement Board was put in place last year made up of experts and a good representation from the agencies involved, including in particular the police, NHS, and Council, and improvements have already been made over the last 12 months.

“However, we are updating our improvement plan to ensure it addresses the things that Ofsted have found.

“A new leadership team is in place in children’s services.

“We have recruited more social workers to meet the rising demand from people contacting us with concerns about children, and this has provided us with the capacity to ensure there is a dedicated social worker for all the children that are assessed as needing one.

“This will help us to meet the continuing increase in demands for our services.”

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