Cumbrian child protection services criticised

The former Director of Public Health in Cumbria has criticised child protection services in the county saying that he believes young people are at risk of harm.

Cumbria County Council defend child protection allegations

A statement from Cumbria County Council has defended the allegations made against them regarding child protections services in the county:

“Until recently, Professor Ashton was Cumbria’s highest paid public servant and his views and opinions are always treated with respect.

“In this instance we do not recognise many of his comments, other than to highlight again that a wide-ranging independent inspection of children’s services last year judged that children in Cumbria are safe.

“The same inspection found that the pace of change to council and local NHS services did need to improve and recent feedback from inspectors has shown that Cumbria is on-track to bring about the necessary changes.

"The council’s partners, including the NHS, have stressed that they are positive about the progress that has been made.

"Department for Education officials in their recent assessment also talk positively about Senior Leadership in Children’s Services and the political cross party support and commitment which is giving priority to improving children’s services, and the expectation that progress will continue at pace.

“The safety, success and wellbeing of children in Cumbria is the responsibility of all of us and the council continues to demonstrate in word and deed its open, transparent and positive approach to securing these outcomes for all our children and young people.

“There is no complacency and people can be assured that supporting children and young people in Cumbria to grow into happy and fulfilled adulthood remains our highest priority.”

– Spokesperson, Cumbria County Council

Advertisement

Cumbria child protection services under fire from former health director

The former Director of Public Health in Cumbria has criticised child protection services in the county saying that he believes young people are at risk of harm.

It is a charge the county council denies, saying that an independent inspection of children's services last year judged that children in Cumbria are safe.

However, John Ashton says the council lacks the will and ability to improve the way it looks after young people:

"It is a disaster. Most of the young women in the sex industry and the streets of our cities have been in care.

" A majority of lads in the young offenders institutes such as Lancaster have been in care.

"A lot of the drug users have been in care. We have now had nearly forty years of this situation with local authority's social services department. It has failed."

– John Ashton, Former Director of Public Health, Cumbria