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A spokesman for Birmingham City Council, which was singled out for criticism in Ofsted's report on child protection, has acknowledged that there is a long-standing problem:
The Chief Inspector at Ofsted has highlighted Birmingham as one of the worst councils for child protection.
Sir Michael Wilshaw said: "We've allowed failure to go and on and on in Birmingham for far too long.
"The stats are there to see, it points to endemic failure. This isn't good enough and children are at risk, now is the time for central government to do something about it and see if local government is working. If it's not working then I'm calling on central government to break Birmingham up."
Scott King, 24, who was taken into care at six-months old and moved between foster homes 26 times, said there was "very little stability and consistency in care".
An Ofsted report said inspectors found that a persistent absence of stable leadership was a feature of most ‘inadequate’ local authorities. It said that in the weakest places:
- The most basic acceptable practice was not in place
- Supervision, management oversight, purposeful work with families and decisive action where children were at risk from harm were ineffective
- The views of children and families were rarely considered
- Support from key statutory partners – health, police, schools – was weak and poorly co-ordinated
- Managers did not appear to have a firm understanding of what constituted good practice
Ofsted, which inspects children's social care including child protective services, said more needs to be done to address "incompetent and ineffective" leadership in children's services.
Some managers do not have a "firm understanding" of what constitutes good practice, the watchdog said.
In its first stand-alone social care annual report, Ofsted said that children's services need "strong and stable leadership" to improve the services that provide help, care and protection to children at risk of abuse or neglect.
Inspectors found that in the weakest places many "basic acceptable practices" were not in place and some authorities were criticised for poor coordination with health workers, police and schools.
The standard of child protection services at 20 councils has been judged to be "inadequate" by watchdog Ofsted.
The full list of the failing local authorities:
- Cheshire East
- Isle of Wight
- Kingston upon Thames
One in seven councils in England are "inadequate" at caring for some of the most vulnerable children in society, a report has found.
The standard of child protection at 20 of England's 152 local authorities is "unacceptably poor", Ofsted has warned.
Only one in four local authorities are judged to be "good" at safeguarding children, a new report by the watchdog has concluded.
Latest ITV News reports
Ofsted's first report on safeguarding vulnerable kids has found that services are 'less than good' at more than half of England's councils.