Social care services for children in East Riding: here's why it is 'Inadequate' and what the council says

Social care services for children in Bridlington and the East Riding have been branded “Inadequate” by Ofsted inspectors.

Monday, 16th March 2020, 9:26 am
Updated Monday, 16th March 2020, 9:26 am

The independent watchdog listed a catalogue of improvements that need to be made at the East Riding of Yorkshire Council-run department.

In their report, inspectors said there had been a “marked deterioration” in the quality of help and protection support for children in East Riding since Ofsted’s last inspection in 2016.

Although experiences and progress for children in care and leaving care were rated as “Good”, those of children who need help and protection and leaders’ impact on social work practice were both “Inadequate”.

The council offices in Beverley

Overall, the council’s children’s social care services were rated “Inadequate”.

“Services for children in care and care leavers have remained strong overall, with good strategic and operational management oversight,” said the report.

“This is not replicated in services for children in need of help and protection, where management oversight and practice is significantly weaker.”

The report said there were delays in children’s needs being identified and they remained too long in “situations of risk”.

It also said: “High caseloads in some teams and weaknesses in the quality of oversight and decision-making by some managers are leading to drift and delay for children receiving the services they need to protect them and improve their lives.”

A spokesperson for East Riding of Yorkshire Council said: “The judgement is very disappointing for the council and does not reflect the range of effective, successful work carried out by our highly-professional, committed and caring staff across all the services and across the East Riding.

“The council is absolutely committed to providing the best possible services for children, young people and their families and, while we disagree with a number of aspects of the report, we acknowledge there are areas of improvement and we will be making every effort to do so.

“Like with any other local authority facing unprecedented demand and severe financial constraints, our staff work in often very difficult and challenging circumstances.

“However we are dedicated in our aspiration to provide the best possible service and outcomes through continual learning and development. This includes improving where necessary and constantly reviewing our working practices and effectiveness.”