We undertook an inspection of children’s services in Flintshire County Council during May and June 2015.
The council had experienced a significant period of change and at the time of the inspection had announced a review of children’s services, with a view to reorganising the service.
Inspectors were pleased to note that senior managers were committed to achieving improvements in the provision of help and protection for children and families.
Inspectors looked closely at the experiences of children and young people who had needed or still need help and/or protection.
Inspectors read case files and interviewed staff, managers and professionals from partner agencies as well as children, young people and their families.
The inspection also considered the quality of outcomes achieved for children and families, including a small sample of children and young people who were, or had been, looked after.
Our recommendations included:
- As a priority, the council should continue with plans to develop an early intervention strategy to provide early support for children, young people and families.
- Despite some good quality assessments, the consistency in quality and timeliness of assessments and plans must be improved.
- Strong political and corporate support for children’s services must continue to ensure the service improvements needed are prioritised and the pace of improvement sustained.
- Performance management and quality assurance arrangements, including scrutiny of service demand and routine auditing of the quality of practice, should be embedded across the service.