Mixed report by Ofsted into County Childrens Services: still urgent need for modernisation and improvement

June 11, 2018 6:54 PM

Responding to the piblication of the OFSTED inspection of Gloucestershire County Council on the 8th of June, Cllr Paul Hodgkinson (Bourton and Northleach), Leader of the Liberal Democrats, said:

Paul Hodgkinson"The publication on the 8th of June of the latest OFSTED report into Gloucestershire's Children's services makes for mixed reading and tells of a slow approach to improvement since the last inspection in January.

"I agree that the right leadership arrangements are now in place to make better progress and we must be sure to applaud the majority of Gloucestershire's social workers for their tireless efforts. However, I remain concerned about the lost years for the children in our care and I'm incredibly worried about the high turnover of social workers, which is around 20 per cent despite attempts to address this. In addition the report identified too many vulnerable children experiencing drift and delay in getting their care plans in place. It's totally unacceptable that a small but significant number of children remain in situations of unassessed risk for too long.

"The County Council has been far too slow to recognise the urgent need for modernisation and improvement. In fact, councillors from the Conservative administration now admit that the situation for children in care was even worse last year than when OFSTED found in Spring 2017 that the Council was 'Inadequate'.

"The recent appointment of an experienced Director for Children's Services gives me a lot more confidence going forward, but nothing can repair the years when children received poor support and were at risk. Each and every recommendation in the report must be implemented and I will do my best to scrutinise the Council's progress on this critical issue."