Concerns over Cumbria children's services

Services to protect vulnerable children and young people in Cumbria are inadequate, inspectors found.

The Care Quality Commission and Ofsted identified five areas as inadequate including the overall effectiveness of safeguarding services.

They also identified weaknesses in the way health agencies contributed to keeping children safe.

Cumbria County Council said it was "disappointed" but that it had the right plans and people to improve.

Minimum requirements

Inspectors spoke to children, young people, parents, carers, staff and managers during their visit in April as well as reviewing case files.

Among concerns were inconsistencies in meeting the needs of children and young people, insufficient assessment of risk and need in some children's cases and some staff not having suitable training.

The 16 areas judged as adequate included the capacity for improvement in safeguarding services, children and young people being and feeling safe and overall effectiveness and capacity for improvement in services for looked after children.

Enjoying and achieving outcomes for looked after children and care leavers were judged to be good.

Cumbria County Council corporate director for children's services Julia Morrison said: "I am disappointed with the outcome of the inspection.

"We want to provide the best for children and young people and this result is not good enough.

"However, inspectors were clear that children are safe and that we have the right plans and the right people in place now to improve our performance."

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