Ofsted report says part of children’s social services ‘requires improvement’

Bournemouth Echo: REPORT: Jane Portman REPORT: Jane Portman

MORE needs to be done to protect vulnerable children in Bournemouth, a critical Ofsted report has concluded.

The extent of child sexual exploitation in the area is not properly understood, there is a lack of experienced social workers and too many older children are placed more than 20 miles away from the borough, inspectors found.

The report follows an in-depth investigation of children’s social services in Bournemouth and of the Bournemouth and Poole Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB).

Inspectors gave both the council and the LSCB a verdict of “requires improvement,” the third out of four ratings available to them. They gave a “good” rating for adoption performance but said everything else they assessed needed to be improved to reach the minimum expected standard.

The report states: “There are no widespread or serious failures that create or leave children being harmed or at risk of harm. The welfare of looked after children is safeguarded and promoted.

“However, the authority is not yet delivering good protection and help and care for children, young people and families.”

The key criticisms were that children and young people in need of early help did not always receive a timely response, children changed social workers too often, the council’s aspirations for care leavers were too low, too many older children were sent miles away from Bournemouth and the extent of child sexual exploitation was not properly understood.

Strengths identified by the inspectors included good arrangements between the police and children’s services, effective action when children are assessed as being at immediate risk of harm, fast and comprehensive efforts to match children with new families and the fact that social workers take children’s wishes and feelings into account.

Jane Portman, Bournemouth’s executive director for adults and children, said nothing in the report was unexpected and they knew what improvements were needed.

“There is always room for improvement and I am absolutely confident that the areas for improvement noted by Ofsted are achievable,” she said.

'Funding'

Cllr Nicola Green, Bournemouth’s cabinet member for children’s services, said: “The report only provides a snapshot of the service and we do accept the need for improvements as we were already aware of where further development was needed in the service.

“We have already been successful in securing additional funding to meet the increased demand for frontline services.

“Children’s social care is a high priority service and the council remains committed to improving the lives of children and young people in Bournemouth.”

Comments (8)

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5:55am Mon 30 Jun 14

Understated says...

publicising them as vulnerable is a bad start..
publicising them as vulnerable is a bad start.. Understated
  • Score: 2

7:25am Mon 30 Jun 14

losthope says...

This inspection relates to the Bournemouth AND POOLE Safeguarding Board. Wasn't anyone at Poole Council avaiable for comment? Or are vulnerable children in Poole of less concern to the Echo than the ones in Bournemouth?
This inspection relates to the Bournemouth AND POOLE Safeguarding Board. Wasn't anyone at Poole Council avaiable for comment? Or are vulnerable children in Poole of less concern to the Echo than the ones in Bournemouth? losthope
  • Score: 2

12:16pm Mon 30 Jun 14

BmthNewshound says...

Caring for the most vulnerable in our community are not a priority for Bournemouth Council. Beelsey has thrown a bit more money in the direction of social care but hasn't made it a priority preferring to concentrate on his trophy projects and window dressing. Its nothing short of a scandal that Bournemouth & Poole Councils are not doing more to protect children especially in light of some of the awful abuse stories which are regularly being reported on in the national press.
Caring for the most vulnerable in our community are not a priority for Bournemouth Council. Beelsey has thrown a bit more money in the direction of social care but hasn't made it a priority preferring to concentrate on his trophy projects and window dressing. Its nothing short of a scandal that Bournemouth & Poole Councils are not doing more to protect children especially in light of some of the awful abuse stories which are regularly being reported on in the national press. BmthNewshound
  • Score: 3

12:42pm Mon 30 Jun 14

s-pb2 says...

Understated wrote:
publicising them as vulnerable is a bad start..
Why?
[quote][p][bold]Understated[/bold] wrote: publicising them as vulnerable is a bad start..[/p][/quote]Why? s-pb2
  • Score: 1

12:43pm Mon 30 Jun 14

keith milton says...

plymouth based 'UK column news'who do a wonderful job of exposing institutional paedophilia, the abuse of children,and neglect by social services around the country,

have been forced to shut down by OFSTED and ATVOD.

hypocrites
plymouth based 'UK column news'who do a wonderful job of exposing institutional paedophilia, the abuse of children,and neglect by social services around the country, have been forced to shut down by OFSTED and ATVOD. hypocrites keith milton
  • Score: -5

12:47pm Mon 30 Jun 14

s-pb2 says...

Interesting that this is without doubt the most important story in Bournemouth this month, and barely a comment! No one cares in this town if children die because of poor investment and poor management in childrens social care. No one cares thats there is not the expertise to deal with sexually exploited children in this town. No one cares that their are millions in reserve and yet there are not enough staff to help the towns abused children.

This story should be at the top of the list not hidden halfway down. Me thinks Town Hall has done a deal with the Echo here, makes no sense otherwise. And Beesley nowhere in sight!
Interesting that this is without doubt the most important story in Bournemouth this month, and barely a comment! No one cares in this town if children die because of poor investment and poor management in childrens social care. No one cares thats there is not the expertise to deal with sexually exploited children in this town. No one cares that their are millions in reserve and yet there are not enough staff to help the towns abused children. This story should be at the top of the list not hidden halfway down. Me thinks Town Hall has done a deal with the Echo here, makes no sense otherwise. And Beesley nowhere in sight! s-pb2
  • Score: 2

2:17am Wed 2 Jul 14

Mrs C. A Townend says...

Well actually I agree with some of what Jane has said, but have you tried asking the children whether or not they feel their feelings are taken into account, because I can tell you, you will get a different response. One of the biggest complaints I get from children under social care in Bournemouth is that they do not feel listened to. Its time to stop covering the truth with gold angels here and try actually thinking about why they don't feel listened to instead of keeping quiet, because whether the truth hurts or not, children's social care do not have good standards when it comes to actively listening to children and as i've been told many times, that is why children don't like tlking to them.
Well actually I agree with some of what Jane has said, but have you tried asking the children whether or not they feel their feelings are taken into account, because I can tell you, you will get a different response. One of the biggest complaints I get from children under social care in Bournemouth is that they do not feel listened to. Its time to stop covering the truth with gold angels here and try actually thinking about why they don't feel listened to instead of keeping quiet, because whether the truth hurts or not, children's social care do not have good standards when it comes to actively listening to children and as i've been told many times, that is why children don't like tlking to them. Mrs C. A Townend
  • Score: 0

2:19am Wed 2 Jul 14

Mrs C. A Townend says...

Oh and just to add to that, listening is the only way to take in a TRUE account of children's thoughts and feelings.
Oh and just to add to that, listening is the only way to take in a TRUE account of children's thoughts and feelings. Mrs C. A Townend
  • Score: 0

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