Inspection of Childrens Services in Flintshire
Childrens Services in Flintshire are delivered by a suitably qualified,
experienced and competent workforce which is able to meet the needs of local
children, young people and their families, according to an inspection report to
be considered by Flintshire County Councils Cabinet at a meeting on Tuesday,
Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) undertook an inspection
earlier this year when they looked closely at the experiences of children and
young people who had needed or still needed help and/or protection.
The inspection also considered the quality of outcomes achieved for children
and families including a small sample of children and young people who were, or
had been, looked after. Inspectors read case files and interviewed staff,
managers and professionals from partner agencies. They also talked to children,
young people and their families.
The report praised the Councils clear decision making during child protection
investigations and its proportionate urgent action taken to protect children
and young people at risk of immediate significant harm.
The reports 12 recommendations are recognised as areas the Council itself had
already identified for further improvement. This includes the need to further
strengthen arrangements when people first contact the service and ensure that
all internal systems support social workers in delivering excellent services.
The report endorses the strong leadership and governance provided by senior
politicians and officers and welcomes the Councils commitment to developing
and seeing further improvement in childrens services. It also highlighted that
feedback from staff generally was that Flintshire had a good reputation and was
a positive place to work.
Inspectors found that when contacts were received where there was an obvious
indication that a child or children were at risk or had suffered significant
harm, prompt decisions were made and initial action was taken to protect the
The report notes that child protection case conferences observed by inspectors
were well chaired and child focused. The council also worked hard to try to
ensure that, where possible, children were looked after within their extended
family or supported to maintain more meaningful relationships. To support this
a positive family group conferencing service was in place.
Councillor Christine Jones, Cabinet member for Social Services said:
There are good things to learn from this report and we are committed to
delivering the inspectors recommendations. We are pleased that the report
recognises and endorses our effective approach to managing the safeguarding of
children. Despite the enormous financial pressures faced by the Council we are
working hard to ensure that we continue to deliver good services even in areas
of rising demand. We accept there are areas which need continued improvement
and will be addressing these in our action plan
The Councils Statutory Director of Social Services Neil Ayling added:
The report endorses our commitment to continued improvement to childrens
services in Flintshire. We are heartened that the report recognises many
strengths in Childrens Services, particularly the commitment and dedication of
our social workers. We are already responding to the reports recommendations
for further change.