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  • 9 January 2019
  • News

Significant improvement achieved in Powys but serious concerns remain – report

We inspected services for children in Powys in July 2017 which identified serious concerns, and followed up with a further inspection in October 2018.

The October 2018 report outlines the developments and improvements we found. 

Powys County Council’s children’s services has achieved significant improvements in certain areas, and some improvement in others.  There continue to be areas of practice where we have serious concerns.

All those involved with Powys County Council children’s services have worked hard to improve the service.

Priority areas for development

  • Ensure there is a clear strategic vision to deliver a seamless service and further develop collaborative working with health, education and the third sector to benefit children and families
  • Develop commissioning and social work practice to reduce the numbers of emergency placements and enable PCC to better fulfil its duty to access a sufficient range of accommodation for looked after children close to home. To minimise the number of children placed without agreed educational provision. 
  • Ensure early multi agency involvement in safeguarding and ensure an immediate response to children at risk of sexual exploitation.
  • Ensure investigation of complaints are thorough and in accordance with Welsh Government guidelines.

The local authority plans to restructure children’s services, introduce a recognised model of social work and establish a cohesive strategy around early help and family support.  These developments should result in further improvements.

Next steps

We expect the local authority to review its existing improvement plan within 20 working days of the publication of this report. Due to the areas of serious concern identified in this inspection, we will continue to actively monitor the quality of services on a quarterly basis. We will consider a further inspection of children’s services 12-18 months from the publication of this report.