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  • 10 December 2018
  • News

Significant improvement found in Anglesey’s children’s services – report

We inspected services for children at Isle of Anglesey County Council in November 2016, and carried out a follow up inspection to assess the improvements made in October this year.

During that time, the local authority developed a substantial improvement programme for children’s services.

What we looked at

Our October 2018 inspection looked at whether families were empowered to access help, care and support services, and the quality of outcomes achieved for children.

Inspectors also considered the quality of leadership, management and governance arrangements.

Findings

Children’s services were able to demonstrate significant improvement in a number of key areas. There remain some areas for improvement. 

Staff morale is high and there is passion and commitment at all levels to deliver excellent services for children.

Safeguarding responses are mostly timely and proportionate, but there is room for improvement in collation and recording of evidence and analysis of risk. 

There has been a noticeable increase in the number of children becoming looked after, and corresponding increase in work load for teams.

There is a lack of suitable placements for children, and more work is required to ensure placement options meet the particular needs of children such as those with complex needs.

There is strong leadership and governance in children’s services. Senior officers are visible, available and driving improvements, whilst partners on the regional safeguarding board, North Wales Police and health board colleagues are positive about the changes they have seen, describing a new open culture and good joint working.

Areas for development

  • Evidence collection, recording and analysis must be brought up to a consistently high level to ensure cases where children are suffering significant harm are not allowed to drift.
  • Continue to increase the number and range of placements options for children on the island, based on professional understanding of children‘s needs.
  • Children need to be able to build relationships with social workers they can trust, with the number of social workers to which each child has to repeat their story minimised. Social workers must ensure every interaction with a child counts and be able to evidence their work.

Next steps

We expect the local authority to consider the areas for development and incorporate them into their development plans. We will monitor progress through our on-going engagement activity with the local authority.