Birmingham' children's services to be issued with second Improvement Notice

27 SEP 2010

BirminghamBirmingham City Council's children's services will be issued with a second government Improvement Notice, after a critical Ofsted report into children's services in July, according to news reports.

In October last year a damning report into Birmingham's children's services exposed serious management failings and branded its social work model as "not fit for purpose".

The report by Birmingham City Council's scrutiny committee found a catalogue of failings, including a shortage of experienced staff, inadequate monitoring, excessive paperwork and too little time spent with children and families.

The inquiry was commissioned after it emerged that eight children known to Birmingham City Council social services had died in the city in four years. Among the children was Khyra Ishaq, a seven-year-old girl from Handsworth, who was starved to death.

Earlier this week, the Birmingham Mail reported that improvement targets are still not being fully met. Responding to the Mail's article, Birmingham City Council councillor Les Lawrence said: "We are waiting for the agreed improvement notice, relating purely to safeguarding children and young people, from Tim Loughton MP, Under Secretary for Children and Families. Once this has been received we will be reporting to the Minister on a quarterly basis.

"As with any improvement notice, ministers may choose to invoke their statutory powers of intervention after a further 12 months if insufficient improvements are made. However, we have not reached that stage at the moment and may never do so.

"Children's Social Services encompass many other service provisions judged as good, excellent or outstanding, such as Adoption and Fostering, Children's Care Homes, Corporate Parenting, Children in need, Looked After Children's Services, the Family Nurse Partnership amongst others, none of which are subject to this improvement notice."

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