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Ofsted finds inconsistency in borough's children's services

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Ofsted has rated Borough of Poole’s children’s social care services as requiring improvement, with concerns raised over inconsistent management oversight of frontline practice and some children being left in “unsuitable environments” due to a lack of foster placements.

A report published today following an inspection that ended in October said the quality of support and outcomes for children were variable across services, with senior managers aware there is more to be done to strengthen practice.

It said though most children live in good quality foster placements, some foster carers were not always provided with sufficient information following emergency placements.

It added: “A small but significant number of children have remained overnight in police custody or in unsuitable environments as a result of the lack of placements.”

The report also found that children who need help from the out-of-hours service do not consistently receive a good enough response.

Poole’s children’s services were rated as good in 2011.

In other inspection reports published today, three councils were rated as good by Ofsted.

Leaders and managers at Camden LBC were praised for ”thinking deeply and creatively” about how to continually improve the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable children and families.

Ofsted found the senior leadership team at Shropshire Council, which received an adequate rating in 2012, “has systematically developed and improved services for children”, with the support of strong corporate services, elected members and partner agencies.

Senior leaders at South Tyneside MBC were described as “ambitious” and “effective” in quickly “systematically and comprehensively” addressing shortfalls identified in the joint targeted area inspection in February 2016, which found risk and need were not being adequately identified.

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