Cambridgeshire

Cambridgeshire's 'inadequate' child protection addressed

A council has said it will learn from an Ofsted report describing its child protection services as "inadequate".

Inspectors made the unannounced visit to Cambridgeshire County Council last month.

David Brown, cabinet member for children and young people's services, said record-keeping issues were being addressed even before the inspection.

He said an improvement plan had been agreed, and added: "We are determined to move forward and turn this around."

The Ofsted report concluded: "The overall effectiveness of the arrangements to protect children in Cambridgeshire is judged to be inadequate."

'Disbanded team'

While inspectors recognised the council was in the process of changing the way it delivered social care services, the report went on to say: "While actions were taken which included a change in local management arrangements, these lacked rigour and urgency.

"The council undertook an audit of 81 cases involving 164 children. This revealed significant failures to take appropriate action to ensure the safety of 29 children and young people."

Mr Brown said: "What the inspectors found was far too much variability, particularly in recording by staff, and some problems - which we'd already picked up ourselves - with a temporary team we'd put in to deal with a capacity issue."

"We had already disbanded that team and were going through an audit of their cases when the inspectors arrived.

"There is a clear determination to put that right and we have a comprehensive improvement plan which went to cabinet yesterday and received cross-party support.

"I am 100% confident that we are learning lessons and we are going to put this right."

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