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Risk based inspection of Cardiff Council social services

This report summarises the findings of our risk-based inspection between 23 November and 3 December 2020.

This inspection reviewed how well children’s social services has progressed on its journey of improvement, and how well Cardiff Council social services continue to help and support adults and children.


People – voice and control: We found that practitioners are taking a collaborative approach and working in partnership with people to ensure their views and wishes, and those of their carers, were captured in most assessments and care plans. There was an agreed understanding of how needs will be met and personal outcomes will be achieved.

Within children’s services, care and support plans are variable in quality. Better plans are explicit about expectations, with a mix of tangible and practical actions that support children and their families.

Prevention: We found that senior managers fully understand access to early intervention and prevention is key to maintaining well-being and mitigating demand on statutory services. The reshape and re-design of services focused on its early intervention and prevention delivery. In children’s services we heard of the development of the Early Help Hub and how existing services came together to provide the right support at the right time to people. In the same way in adult services, we saw how the Independent Living Service focused on ensuring people had access to a wide range of support to live as independently as possible.

Well-being: We found that both adults and children’s services benefit from good political and corporate support, and a shared understanding of the direction and drive needed to ensure that services effectively improve outcomes for people.

Partnerships, integration and co-production: In most of the files we reviewed, we identified evidence of practitioners developing professional working relationships with people, built upon co-operation and shared understanding of what matters.

However, some people who responded to our survey told us of difficulties in contacting the service. We heard of calls not being returned and long delays before calls are returned. Concerns were raised about the attitude of some members of staff. We heard of delays in case transfer between teams and this was a particular area of concern raised by staff and young people where teams had a high turnover of staff. The local authority must ensure it has robust arrangements to communicate effectively with people.

Next steps

We expect the areas of improvement we have identified to be included in the local authority’s improvement plans. We will monitor progress through our on-going performance evaluation activity with Cardiff Council.

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