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Children’s services

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Despite a series of national headlines over the past few months about child deaths that could have been prevented, most senior staff in local government remain confident that their council is running an effective child protection service.

Fifty-five per cent said they were confident in their service, and a further 5% said they were very confident in it. Just 14% were not confident, with the remainder unsure.

However, it is clear that this service area faces serious challenges. Fifty-three per cent of respondents said rising demand was causing difficulties and 51% said the same was true of budget restraints.

Even those with the budget to recruit extra social workers to cope with growing demand faced obstacles; 38% said they were struggling to recruit social work staff and 12% were struggling to find senior staff such as directors and assistant directors.

Inspection and regulation was seen as a source of difficulty by 39% of respondents.

Yet despite this finding and the widespread complaints about Ofsted’s tough new approach, only 18% of respondents said they were not confident that their council’s current rating was an accurate reflection of the quality of the services. Fortyseven per cent were confident and the remainder were not sure.

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