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Significant improvement has been achieved in Powys but major concerns remain

Care Inspectorate Wales inspection of services for children in Powys in July 2017 and indicated major concerns, and a further inspection was launched in October 2018.

This report of inspection a month in October 2018 outlining developments and improvements that we identified, and areas where improvements are required in length.


findings

Powys County Council children's services have managed to make significant improvements in specific areas, and some improvement in other areas. We are still major concerns about certain areas of practice.

Turnover continued the temporary workforce and arrangements for middle managers have been key factors that have slowed the process of making changes.

Everyone involved from children Powys County Council has worked hard to improve the service. Improvements since the last inspection including improved corporate overview of children's services, the development of quality assurance, improved access to 'front door' of children's services, improved applications for court orders and more consistent visits to looked after children and those on the child protection register.


Areas for development

  • Ensure that there are clear strategic vision to deliver seamless service and develop joint working with health, education and the third sector further to the benefit of children and families
  • Development and commissioning practice social work in order to reduce the number of emergency placements and enable the Council to fulfill its duty to have access to an adequate range of accommodation for looked after children near their home more effectively. Reduce the number of children placed with no educational provision agreed.
  • Ensure early multi-agency involvement in protecting and ensuring immediate response to children at risk of sexual exploitation.
  • Ensure that investigations trwylwyr complaints in accordance with Welsh Government guidance.

Current plans to restructure the local authority children's services are aimed at implementing more standardized method of tackling social work, and improve early assistance and family support, which could have a positive impact on many areas of this.

 

next steps

Care Inspectorate Wales expect the local authority to review its current improvement plan within twenty working days of publication of this report. Due to the major areas of concern identified in this inspection, we will continue to actively monitor the quality of services on a quarterly basis. We will consider further inspection from children 12-18 months from the date of publication.