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Wirral children's services improve 'in all areas'

Town Hall, Brighton Street, Wallasey Image copyright Stephen Richards/Geograph
Image caption Children's services were rated "inadequate" after "widespread and serious failures" were found in September 2016

Children's services have improved "in all areas" in Wirral in the last three years, Ofsted inspectors have said.

They were rated inadequate after "widespread and serious failures" were found in September 2016.

Following an inspection in June, the department has now been rated "requires improvement to be good" overall, a report found.

It said Wirral Council "now acts as a strong corporate parent" with a new leadership team.

The report said the new staff, including the director of children's services, "led to an accurate understanding of the deficits, as well as effective implementation of plans that have resulted in significant improvement".

This has included an additional £20m to improve technology and a recruitment drive to remove the need for over-reliance on agency staff, the Local Democracy Reporting Service wrote.

Ofsted also praised:

  • Improved working with partner agencies particularly to help those at risk of criminal or sexual exploitation
  • "Significant improvements" in family court work which has "resulted in better outcomes for children"
  • Better care planning and record keeping
  • Improvement in the fostering service
  • Staff turnover and numbers of agency workers have reduced considerably
  • Improvement in stability of the workforce has led to children experiencing greater continuity, with fewer changes in social worker

But the report said there still needed to be improvements in social work assessments and education for children in care.

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