Protection for vulnerable children improved in Gloucestershire

Primary school classroom
Image caption Gloucestershire County Council said protecting vulnerable people was an 'absolute priority'

Safeguards to protect vulnerable children in Gloucestershire are better now than they were in 2010, government inspectors have said.

Ofsted's most recent inspection of the county council rated it as adequate with good capacity for improvement.

A previous report from the education watchdog raised concerns that the service was failing in some areas.

Councillors said better joined-up working and an extra 30 social workers had helped raise standards.

"Protecting vulnerable people is an absolute priority for this council," said Conservative councillor Paul McLain, cabinet member for vulnerable families and chairman of Gloucestershire Children's Partnership.

"Ofsted has praised the progress we have made in all areas. It also highlighted the vital work we are doing with our partners to target services at families most in need."

Intensive review

Areas marked for improvement within the next three months include greater communication and sharing of information between health services, and an intensive review of all cases of children who have been in the child protection system for more than 18 months.

The quality of staff supervision is to also be monitored within six months.

"This report shows how effectively we are turning things around," said Linda Uren, director of children's services.

"There is always more that can be done but we know we have the right resources, plans and leadership in place to drive further improvements and help us support more of the most vulnerable families."

'Safe from harm'

In each community, a lead professional works with staff from children's social care, education and health to help families in need.

"[It] doesn't mean children are going to be completely safe from harm," added Mr McLain.

"We always need more information whether that comes through from GPs, from teachers, or the public.

"But it's great to know that when that information does come in, we've now got teams across the county who are able to act and act efficiently and effectively, and keep those children safe."

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