'Long-term' plan for Peterborough's children's services

Improving a "poor-rated" children's services department in Peterborough will not be a "quick fix", according to its interim director.

A 33-point plan has been drawn up by the city council to address issues raised by a critical Ofsted assessment and inspection in the autumn.

Adrian Loades said: "At the moment we are in a period of higher risk.

"We are taking some short-term measures while we look to secure long-term improvement to reduce risk."

Ofsted's performance assessment of the department reported "significant" weaknesses, but added that most areas were good.

'Big challenges'

The proposed plan to turn around the department includes increasing staffing levels, monitoring performance and improving liaison with schools, health workers and the police.

The department will also seek advice from the children's services departments in neighbouring counties including Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire.

Mr Loades, who took over the department when its former boss resigned in September, said the improvements were planned for an 18-month period.

"Clearly there are some big challenges but there is nothing about Peterborough - and nothing about the needs in Peterborough - that we cannot fix in terms of improving the children's social care team," he said.

Mr Loades said the proposed action plan would encourage "a long and sustainable process around improvement".

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