Report on child protection in Northamptonshire

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The management oversight of some cases of children in need is ineffective in Northamptonshire, according to the watchdog Ofsted.

The report was compiled after a surprise inspection the county council's child protection services.

It found that child protection work was given "high priority" but some files showed a "lack of effective risk assessment or prompt follow up action".

The report said there were no areas requiring priority action.

'Dedicated' team

"Agencies work effectively in partnership to protect children through their contribution to assessments or by referring their concerns about children in a timely way," says the report.

"In almost all cases seen by inspectors there was a timely response to those children identified as being in need of protection."

But the report also said there had been delays in filling vacant staff posts which had led to delays in starting assessments.

"In one case examined by inspectors there were unacceptable delays in assessing risk of potential harm to children and in ensuring that appropriate follow up action was taken," it said.

Councillor Andrew Grant, cabinet member for children and young people, said: "This report represents an accurate appraisal of our child protection services with a positive assessment of our procedures and staff."

The authority had a "dedicated and performing team of staff that are delivering services recognised as effective", he added.

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