Northamptonshire child safeguarding chief wants review

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More must be done to retain social workers demoralised by three critical reports about children's services in Northamptonshire, a watchdog head says.

Kevin Crompton, the independent chair of the county's safeguarding children board, said a review of social worker recruitment was now essential.

He made the comments while presenting his annual report to councillors.

He said it had been a difficult year after three Ofsted reports criticised the way children in care were treated.

Mr Crompton, who was recruited by the council to help fix failings, said the authority must consider a complete review of social worker recruitment.

It must also find ways to hang on to good social workers tempted to leave, he said.

Opposition councillors blamed recent changes in Northamptonshire's terms and conditions for the loss of morale in social services.

But Mr Crompton denied this was the main cause because the issue was broader and included a need to improve management and staff supervision.

The Ofsted reports had branded adoption services and child protection in the county as "inadequate".

Social services and police were also criticised over cases of children being kept in cells because no alternative accommodation was available.

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