The inspection took place during a period of significant change for Carmarthenshire County Council while implementing the Social Services and Well-Being (Wales) Act 2014.
The local authority was also bringing in revised social work operating models across children’s services.
Chief Inspector Imelda Richardson said:
We found a local authority committed to supporting children and families to stay together whenever it was safe to do so.
Their approach to delivering family support services underpinned this commitment.
The report identified that more work was needed between social services and partner agencies to develop an integrated approach to delivering information, advice and assistance, preventive services and statutory provision.
The report identified areas for post-inspection development to help the authority and its partners in their continuing improvement.
- The consistency and quality of social work and risk analysis in assessments and plans must improve.
- The quality of management oversight of assessment and planning should be strengthened.
- Strong political and corporate support for children’s services must continue to ensure improvements are prioritised and the pace of improvement is sustained.
The inspection was a pilot to test and learn from a revised approach to local authority inspection, with greater emphasis on understanding how the delivery of social services improves outcomes for people in need of care and support.
Inspectors read case files and interviewed staff, managers and professionals from partner agencies. Wherever possible, they talked to children, young people and their families.
An evaluation of outcomes for carers was outside the scope of the pilot, as was an assessment of advocacy services.