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Council bites back on Children’s services

Created on 14/03/2018 @ 10:07
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Powys County Council has hit back, following a BBC report that lambasted the authority over its handling of revamping its Children’s Services.

The BBC stated that a report from the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) warned that ‘high levels of sickness and staff leaving their jobs have left Powys’ under-fire children’s services unsustainable’.

Powys County Council considered the report at its meeting Tuesday, and while they accepted that more work needs to be done, they felt the report required response.

Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Rachel Powell, said the article was based on historic data covering a period from October to December 2017, since when improvements have been implemented.

“Current information shows that children’s services have a staffing complement of 360.  It is made up of 88 per cent permanent or fixed term posts and the remainder are agency or casual staff.  Most of them were brought in to support front line service delivery following an inspection last year. In February, 15 staff were absent because of sickness, with the loss of 108 working days.

“Children’s services are a corporate priority and our recovery plans have been accepted by Care Inspectorate Wales and Welsh Government.  We have an Improvement Board and they are reporting improvements while accepting there is much work to do. 

“They report very early signs of improvement in social work practice, such as timescales for the completion of assessments, frequency of statutory visits and direct work with young people.  However, it is the case that further substantial work remains in this area.

“We know there is work to do but we are committed to driving forward and delivering the standard of service our families need,” she added.

The Budget for 2018/19 includes an investment of £6.172 million for children’s services, an increase of 47per cent.

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