by willforster on 16 May, 2018
The publication today of the Ofsted report into Surrey County Council’s Children’s Services makes difficult reading, and tells a story of a slow, almost dilatory approach to improvement since the last Ofsted inspection. Both the last inspection and the one just published rates Surrey’s Children’s Services as ‘inadequate’.
I really recommend reading as much of the report as you can here, but if you don’t, the two key findings that stood out to me was that the report states social workers feel ill equipped and overworked, resulting in a ‘tick-box’ system and that large numbers of children detained by Police without a charge due to shortage of emergency local authority accommodation.
The Lib Dems and I agree with Ofsted and the County Council that the right leadership and governance arrangements are now in place to make rapid progress, but we are concerned about the lost years for the children in care. Surrey County Council has been far too slow to recognise the urgent need for modernisation and improvement. The new appointment of an Executive Director for Children, Families and Learning gives me confidence going forward, but nothing can repair the years when children received poor support and were at risk.
Each and every recommendation in the report must be implemented and we as the opposition at County Hall will do our best to ensure that they are. As the richest county in the country, Surrey should have been failing its most vulnerable children and young people.1 Comment