Reading Council ‘not improving quickly enough’

child protection

The Children’s Services Department of Reading Council has not improved adequately since failing an inspection last year Ofsted has declared.

In August 2016 inspectors gave the Berkshire authority an ‘inadequate’ rating, saying they too frequently left vulnerable children in situations of “unknown and acute risk”.

Ofsted remained concerned after a follow up visit to the children’s department earlier this month. Any progress made has been slow it declares in a new inspection report, with too much focus on “process”.

Improvements are under the supervision of a temporary member of staff the inspectors noted, following the resignation of the regular manager. Only “ineffective” efforts have been made to bring stability to the workforce and minimise staff turnover.

In a letter to the authority, Ofsted explain:

“The majority of senior, middle and frontline managers remain temporary workers and the percentage of permanently employed social workers has declined slightly. Instability at senior management level has increased with the chair of the local safeguarding children board, an assistant director and the head of transformation and improvement recently resigning.”

On a more positive note, the report said “well thought-out” improvements had been made to the department’s procedures and caseloads were manageable for most social workers in the department.

A spokesman for the Reading Council acknowledged the criticisms:

“The council accepts that the pace and scale of improvement has been slower than anticipated, due to a number of circumstances.”

Photo of Forbury Gardens in Reading by Andrew Smith via Wikipedia under a Creative Commons licence

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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1 comment

dr. manhattan62 - July 4, 2017 at 4:22pm

i have a feeling this will be the case with many more LAs across the country.
Local authorities have always claimed to be able to do a better job of looking after children than parents can but i suspect 80% of the time this is simply not the case, and in fact are doing more harm than good. the long term psychological impact these children suffer and the consequences for society will be significant.

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