Commissioner to examine child services after Ofsted report
A commissioner is to investigate the state of North East Lincolnshire Council’s children’s services after a damning Ofsted report.
Ofsted said the services in North East Lincolnshire had “significantly deteriorated” since 2017 and rated them inadequate in November.
The report also stated that there were “widespread failures” across the service which were “leaving children at risk”.
The Department of Education said Peter Dwyer would look into the council’s child services.
He will decide if the council is to be temporarily removed from control of child social care in March.
According to tbe BBC, the government notice said the council had “systemically failed as its children’s social care services have been found to be ‘inadequate’ across all of the key judgements in the recent Ofsted inspection report”.
Council leaders pledged to make urgent changes after the report was published in November, and said the authority would fully co-operate.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Philip Jackson said: “We recognise and accept Ofsted’s findings. But let me emphasise today that North East Lincolnshire Council is absolutely committed to continuing its journey of improvement and in doing so we will work with all concerned to keep our children safe.”
According to the council, a shortage of social workers is also exacerbating the issue alongside a 57 per cent increase of children being referred to children’s social care services when compared to 2019 and 2018.
The authority is looking after 582 children, double the number that were in its care five years ago.
The number is almost three times the national average, said the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
Following Ofsted’s report Services’ Director, Lisa Arthey, announced her departure after almost two years – eight months of those as Director.