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Cornwall's Children's Services Rated "Adequate"

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5:20pm 15th March 2013
(Updated 5:20pm 15th March 2013)

Pirate FM has learnt that children in Cornwall are not being rescued from neglect quickly enough.

A report warns information about missing youngsters is not being shared properly either.

But Ofsted says for the first time in years, social services in the Duchy are rated as "adequate."

Trevor Doughty is Coporate Director of Children, Schools and Families at Cornwall Council.

He admits there is still work to do: "In cases of neglect it's when to act, it's when to take action, remove children from their families, when to work with the families about improving the care that those children get.

"We're reviewing all of the work we do around neglect, much of which the inspectors were really positive about, but we will have to think about do we take action? Do we take some children in those neglect cases to court earlier than we're doing at the moment?"

Jack Cordery, Head of Service for Children’s Social Work and Psychology Services, said: "There's absolutely no reason for me to believe that we won't make the same progress in the next two years, and the commitment, the hard work and the dedication of those frontline staff is what I have complete confidence in.

Mr Cordery admitted cuts do pose a big challenge. He said: "But we've had that challenge over the last two years, and staff have coped with that incredibly well. The reason they've coped with it incredibly well is because they feel more confident, they're professional capabilities have improved and the morale is higher. We have less sickness, all those things play in as well."

An excerpt from the report, reads: "The overall effectiveness of local authority arrangements to protect children in Cornwall is adequate.  Significant progress has been made by the local authority and its partners in tackling the deep rooted problems which led to safeguarding arrangements being judged inadequate by Ofsted in the safeguarding and looked after children’s inspections in 2009 and 2011.

"Some services have been re-structured and new services developed, alongside new processes and systems, and this has made a significant contribution to ensuring that child protection concerns are responded to promptly and that children in Cornwall get help and protection when they need it”.

5:20pm 15th March 2013

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