Comment: Children’s services inspection and demand figures

Steve Crocker, Chair of the ADCS Standards, Performance and Inspection Policy Committee, said:

On children’s services inspection
“It is right that we are held to account for the work we do with children and families. Robust and effective inspection is an important part of the continuous improvement journey and Ofsted’s latest annual report acknowledges an improving picture in the quality and overall effectiveness of children’s services across the country. Where services are not yet good enough we are implementing Regional Improvement Alliances to bring about further improvements. International comparisons also show that England has a safe child protection system compared to many other countries. ADCS is clear that a single worded judgement cannot convey the complexities of delivering children’s services.”

On demand in children’s services
“Years of austerity and reducing local authority budgets has inevitably affected our work with children and families, while rising child poverty and a greater prevalence of domestic abuse is fuelling need for our services. Greater public and professional awareness of risks, such as sexual and criminal exploitation of children has also contributed to an increase in demand, although tackling these issues are both a necessary and positive development. There is not enough money in the system nationally to meet the level of need in our communities. Local authorities are having to cut non-statutory and early help services, that prevent the needs of children and families from reaching crisis point which makes no moral, or financial, sense and will only result in greater human costs in the future. We will continue to work tirelessly to support children and families to thrive but we need long term, sustainable funding for children’s services.”


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