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Local authority monitoring activity letter: Wrexham County Borough Council

This letter summarises the findings of our monitoring activity between the 15 and 19 November 2021.

We undertook monitoring of Wrexham CBC children’s social services to follow up on the findings of our October 2020 inspection, which found services remained inadequate with early indicators of improvement. That means services were consistently failing to meet statutory duties but children were not found to be unsupported and at immediate risk of harm or abuse.

Today’s publication is part of our ongoing monitoring of Wrexham CBC, and follows on from our review in April 2021.

From the evidence gathered during the latest November 2021 monitoring visit, it is our judgement that Wrexham CBC children’s social services is continuing to make improvements.

Findings

  • Legal gateway meetings reviewed were positive, well managed and provided appropriate advice and guidance to practitioners
  • The accelerated improvement board is working effectively to drive improvements across children’s services
  • Senior leaders were able to demonstrate an increased understanding of the pressures faced by front line social care practitioners and the management and leadership required to ensure services function to a high standard
  • Child protection referrals trigger safeguarding mechanisms appropriately and support relevant information sharing between police, education and children’s services

Priorities for improvement

  • Social workers must undertake visits to children within statutory timescales. Managers should address any lapses in statutory duties in real time to ensure risks are managed and children benefit from their professional oversight and support.
  • The rigour and impact of management oversight must be sufficient to ensure children are not missed and local authority intervention in family life is grounded in good practice.  Social workers and managers must work openly with families as partners. A plan for each child must be progressed and children protected from foreseeable harm.
  • Managers must ensure accumulating concerns of child neglect and domestic abuse, evidenced through repeat referrals, are always recognised and result in offers of support and effective interventions to prevent harm and long term neglect.

Next steps

We have drawn the attention of the local authority to our findings. We will monitor progress through on-going performance evaluation activity. It is our intention to undertake a further follow up inspection in 2022.

To view all our findings and recommendations read the full letter below.

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