Council to spend £500k on fixing problems in children's services
Sutton Council is having to spend £500,000 to fix problems with its children's services outlined in a scathing Ofsted report.
In June, an Ofsted report into how the borough looks after its most vulnerable children found "managerial oversight at all levels."
The council's safeguarding services were slammed for being "inadequate" by a team of inspectors when they visited in April.
Two days after the report was published in May, Stephen Richards, executive head of children and families, quit his job.
Now an extra £500,000 is being ploughed into the problem areas to try and turn them around.
Members of the children, family and education committee were given an emergency action plan in June, outlining what needs to be done to make children who are in the council's care, safe.
The council was given 18 months to sort the problem out through a 'notice to improve' by the parliamentary under secretary of state for children and families, Tim Loughton MP.
Following the notice, a children's services improvement board was set up which includes a representative from the Department for Education and the children's improvement board (CIB).
The children's improvement board will scrutinise the council's progress on areas outlined in the improvement plan.
Following a report from the watchdog the Care Quality Commission, which looked at health related issues, it's recommendations were included along with Ofsted's which form the basis of the improvement plan.
Three main areas, the quality of social work practice, partnerships and the impact of the local safeguarding children board (LSCB), and quality assurance and performance management have been highlighted.
Alongside the £500,000 set aside by the council to improve its services, the CIB have also given the council £100,000.
Councillor Dave Callaghan, Suttons chairman of the children, family and education committee, said: "Everyone involved in safeguarding Sutton’s children is working with a sense of urgency and very clear targets. We have looked closely at every single case of a child who needs protection or is in our care and acted to address any shortcomings.
"This work costs money and the government expects us to respond to the Ofsted report in this way to raise the standard of our services. We have to make this investment over a short period to put things right."