Lawyers Hope Poor Ofsted Findings Lead To Improvements In Sandwell Children’s Services

Ofsted Finds Families Of Vulnerable Children Were ‘Insufficiently’ Supported

15.04.2013

By Helen MacGregor

Lawyers specialising in providing legal support to victims of child abuse and neglect say they are concerned to hear about ongoing complaints of substandard social care in the Birmingham and Black Country area.

Recent findings by Ofsted found that the families of vulnerable children were insufficiently supported by Sandwell Children’s Services leaving them at ‘risk of significant harm’.

The findings resulted in a senior Sandwell Councillor, Bob Badham, resigning as cabinet member for children and families.

Sandwell Council has confirmed it has recently signed up with a private sector partner iMPOWER in an attempt to improve services in addition to taking on more staff.

Tom Fletcher, a solicitor at Irwin Mitchell an expert in abuse and social care cases, said: “The findings by Ofsted are extremely concerning and it is crucial that standards are immediately improved to avoid the significant damage which can be caused to these already vulnerable children by leaving them in harmful environments.

“Unfortunately these problems are not only limited to the Sandwell area and we continue to see failings in a number of authorities across the country.

“However, we do welcome the news that these inadequacies are being addressed. In particular we will be monitoring how the newly formed partnership with iMPOWER develops and hope that this proves to be a successful model for other failing local authorities to employ in the future.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise relating to child abuse claims