Children’s services referrals on rise
REFERRALS to Bucks County Council’s children’s services remain high.
Over the past 18 months, the average number of referrals has increased from 1,400 to 1,600.
David Johnston, senior officer from the education and children’s team, said: “This will be partly because our partner agencies and members of the public are beginning to notify us of concerns they may have about children and their wellbeing.
“It is also a testament of some of the responses they get, which give the public and other partner agencies some confidence in coming to us.”
The council’s children’s services was labelled inadequate by Ofsted last year.
In response, the education, skills and children’s select committee has launched an in-depth inquiry to review the improvement plans for Buckinghamshire’s County Council’s children’s services.
As part of the review, the inquiry will examine evidence from a wide range of expert witnesses including those from other local authorities and partner agencies.
Mr Johnston added: “We have seen increased pressure – we have recruited more permanent staff during this quarter and we are moving towards a more stable workforce.”
The county council has an improvement board, which meets monthly, to discuss children’s services.
Leader of the council Martin Tett said: “There are many challenges in children’s services; adopting, fostering, recruiting enough experienced social workers and we are not unique in having these problems.”
The leader of the council highlighted that as there is more publicity on children’s services nationally, it raises the likelihood of people contacting the council regarding an issue.
He said: “People are aware of Jimmy Saville and Rolf Harris and they have quite rightly heightened the awareness of this area.”