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15 new foster parents recruited in Powys

Created on 07/09/2018 @ 08:50
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By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

It is hoped that 15 more foster parents will be trained and ready to give homes to children in Powys by Christmas.

The positive statement comes from the Children’s Services Performance report which will be looked at by members of Powys County Council’s (PCC) Health Care and Housing Scrutiny Committee next Wednesday.

The report, written back in June, tracks the progress being made by the department as they strive to recover from serious criticisms by a care watchdog.

In October 2017, the Care and Social Services inspectorate Wales (CSSIW), now known as the Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW), produced a damning inspection report into PCC Children’s Services department, which revealed missed opportunities to safeguard children, poor risk assessment and serious performance issues with front line services.

In January the CIW gave the council a warning letter after a follow up visit to the authority. 

To rectify the problems £6 million has been pumped into the service. 

The reports explain what the departments believe are working well, what they are worried about, and what action still needs to be taken.

According to the report, having a Quality Assurance Manager in post to improve quality of practice is something that “works well.”

As does recruiting an Interim Team Manager for the Newtown Team.

The report adds that a worry is:  that the workforce remains “fragile” with a turnover of staff and sickness rates high.

Other concerns  include the pressure to record information on children’s files as the number of children undergoing assessment at the time the report was written was high.

The report also summarises what the department needs to do to continue its recovery.

These include a “Develop and Implement Powys looked After Children’s Strategy.”

“Stabilise the workforce by recruiting permanent staff, this will be supported by the finalisation and implementation of our future structure and workforce Strategy.

“Continue to recruit in-house foster carers to have a net increase of 15 by December 18.”

An independent investigation is under way looking at the state of the department in the run-up to the damning CSSIW report last year and is expected to be finished by the end of the month.

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