Inspection of Children’s Services: Neath Port Talbot

Our findings and recommendations for children’s services in Neath Port Talbot.

Reference to ‘Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales’ (CSSIW) in the documents on this page should be read as ‘Care Inspectorate Wales'.

Recommendations

  • Providing Direction

    • Strong political and corporate support for children’s services must continue if the improvements made are to be sustained and further consolidated.
    • The Corporate Parenting Panel should continue to focus on ensuring better outcomes for looked after children and young people are achieved and support improved mechanisms to gain the views of service users.

  • Delivering Social Services

    • The workforce strategy must include medium to long term aims for recruitment and retention of social workers. Arrangements for deputy team managers and consultant social workers should be reviewed to ensure the capacity to carry out their responsibilities is consistent across the service.
    • Caseloads must be continuously monitored to ensure there is sufficient capacity for workers to undertake direct work with children, young people and their families.
    • Leadership and development programmes should be made available to build resilience within the operational management team, and continued support is required for the development of the independent reviewing team.
    • The implementation of the Participation and Engagement action plan should be given priority.
    • The quality assurance framework must be systematically implemented across the service. The quality of supervision should be reviewed to ensure there is a consistent approach which represents an effective front line quality assurance process.
    • The complaints service should be monitored consistently to ensure there is sufficient resource and capacity available to manage it effectively. Better organisational learning should be derived from complaints to improve the quality of services.

  • Shaping Services

    • The looked after children’s strategy should be reviewed to ensure that services focus on emotional well being and that the best outcomes are achieved for those children and young people in long term care.
    • More interagency work is required to agree thresholds across the service particularly for decision making on stepping up and stepping down arrangements.
    • The Family Support Strategy should be reviewed to ensure there is clarity about eligibility and better integration between the support services across the tiered approach to meeting need. Arrangements to support families to engage in early preventative service also should be included.

  • Assessment Care Management

    • The effectiveness of arrangements to ensure that the needs of children and young people are assessed if concerns about their wellbeing are repeated should be strengthened.
    • The multi-agency peer review group should consider trends in demand and monitor the thresholds for and the take up and effectiveness of preventative services.
    • Risk assessment training should be provided for unqualified support workers, and work to promote consistency in risk management should retain a strong focus.
    • Further improvement in the quality of care planning is required and in particular a greater emphasis on permanency arrangements for those in long term care.

 

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