Leeds & West Yorkshire

Bradford children's services improvement 'too slow' says Ofsted

Bradford generic view Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Inspectors found the pace of improvement at children's services was too slow

Little improvement has been made to protect vulnerable children in Bradford months after Ofsted raised concerns.

Children's Services at the council were judged inadequate in an inspection last September, with youngsters being "left at serious risk of harm".

A follow-up visit last month found high staff turnover and heavy workloads affected the quality of social work.

Mark Douglas, strategic director of children's services, said services were not at the level they should be.

Although inspectors found good examples of social work, the vast majority was "not timely or effective in addressing children's needs".

They found some social workers had more than 50 cases which was affecting their ability to "develop trusting relationships with children and their families".

Despite efforts by senior leaders to employ temporary staff, Ofsted said there were issues with the quality of some of their work, with many leaving at short notice and "impacting negatively on children's lives".

Inspectors found that there had been positive improvements in the immediate response to child protection concerns, but there were several areas where insufficient progress had been made.

The report also noted the vast majority of social workers were very positive about working for the authority and spoke highly about support from their colleagues.

The council said changes implemented following last year's visit would take up to three years to fully implement.

Mr Douglas said: "It is important to stress that Ofsted found that urgent child protection concerns are recognised with the right action being taken and no child was found to be unsafe.

"But we know that the social care services we deliver to vulnerable children are at the level they should need to be."

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