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Local authority monitoring activity letter: Denbighshire County Council

This letter summarises findings from our follow up inspection undertaken in Denbighshire County Council children’s services between 22 and 26 November 2021.

CIW conducted an inspection of Denbighshire County Council’s children’s services. This to seek assurance that improvements were being made, following an Assurance Check held between 28 June and 02 July 2021, whereby serious concerns were raised about some aspects of children’s services. 

Evidence of progress was apparent although the speed at which this has taken effect has been hampered by the significant challenges the Local Authority has faced in recruiting to its Social Services department.

Summary of findings:

Well-being - Children receive a swift safeguarding response, with concerns appropriately escalated to child protection investigations following good consideration of risk and decision-making at the front door.

People – voice and choice - A project group is underway to review recruitment and retention of social care staff across the whole of social services, with a focus on identifying how the local authority can become more competitive in the recruitment market.

Partnerships and integration - There is good communication and partnership working between children’s services and external partners on both an operational and strategic level. We saw evidence of the local authority utilising transformation grant to develop new services with partners to provide timely and appropriate support to children and families.

Prevention - We saw examples whereby children benefitted from the intervention of the therapeutic team, which prevented the need for children to come into the care of the local authority.

Next steps

We have drawn the local authority’s attention to strengths and areas for improvement.  We expect strengths to be acknowledged, celebrated and further promoted.

CIW will monitor progress through its on-going performance evaluation activity.