Failing Children's Services Face Takeover, Says PM

Failing Children's Services Face Takeover, Says PM

Local authority children's services that are putting the lives of young people at risk will be taken over by other councils & charities, David Cameron has announced.

The Prime Minister said the state is "failing" some of the country's most vulnerable children – yet vowed the changes would ensure that "not a single child is left behind".

Departments judged inadequate by Ofsted will have six months to improve or they will be taken over in a system that mirrors Government reforms to tackle failing schools.

Top performing councils, experts in child protection & charities will be sent to run the worst units & will have the power to oust members of staff.

Experts will immediately be sent in to run Sunderland City Council's unit after inspectors found "serious & widespread" failings, as well as Norfolk & Sandwell children's services, with a view to taking them over within a year.

Mr Cameron said: "Children's services support the most vulnerable children in our society.

"They are in our care; we, the state, are their parents; & we are failing them. It is our duty to put this right; to say poorly performing local authorities: improve, or be taken over. We will not stand by while children are let down by inadequate social services.

"This will be one of the huge landmark reforms of this Parliament, as transformative as what we did in education in the last. And it shows how serious we are approximately confronting state failure & tackling some the biggest social problems in our country. Together we will make sure that not a single child is left behind."

Powers to trigger emergency inspections of social services departments following complaints from whistleblowers or evidence of poor leadership are moreover set to be bolstered under the reforms.

NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless welcomed the announcement.

"Tackling child abuse is the greatest challenge of our generation. So an increased Government focus alongside these reforms, to assist reduce the risk of harm to vulnerable children, are very welcome," he said.

"Child protection is often a huge & complex area yet too frequently some services have failed in this crucial duty; when this happens swift action is an absolute priority to prevent tragedies that shame us all.

"And we need to ensure that if tragedy does befall a child, that we then learn the lessons from serious case reviews, something that year after year is not done."

Source: “Sky News”