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LGA responds to Ofsted social care annual report

Cllr Roy Perry, Chairman of the LGA's Children and Young People Board, responds to the Ofsted Social Care Annual Report.

"Protecting children is one of the most important things that councils do, and high-profile crimes of abuse and neglect have brought sharply into focus the need for vigilance in the community. As a result, there are rightly thousands more children on the radar of social services now. But this is in a climate where local authority funding suffered major cuts during the last Parliament, and while councils have made tough choices in order to protect children's services, the system is under significant strain.

"Despite rising demand and reducing budgets, the majority of councils are rated as 'requires improvement' or better, with those councils that have strong children's services working to help others improve, for example Hampshire's work with the Isle of Wight, and Essex supporting Somerset and Norfolk. We've also seen authorities receiving ‘outstanding' ratings for the first time under the new inspection regime. There can be no doubt that local government has the commitment and expertise required to turn around struggling services, without the need for externally imposed structures or operating models. Giving councils the time to establish solid foundations for improvement, learn from other authorities and embed new processes and learning is vital for them to move forward for the benefit of their local areas.

"Thanks to reports from all corners of the community and the hard work of social workers, the police and others, the number of children dying due to homicide or assault has fallen by 69 per cent in England since 1985 and remains in long-term decline. We can never be complacent when it comes to the safety of children and young people, but we must take care that in our rush to improve, we don't lose sight of the unreported excellence of social workers across the country, whose tough decisions and swift actions are saving children's lives every day."

View related information: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/sir-michael-wilshaw-launches-ofsteds-social-care-annual-report-2016


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