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Cumbria safeguarding children services "inadequate"

An unannounced inspection by Ofsted of arrangements to safeguard children in Cumbria has concluded services are inadequate.

Ofsted inspectors found social workers must get better at listening to children and act more quickly where they are not being properly looked after by their parents or carers.

During the inspection it was found that a small number of children known to the council were not being adequately protected. The inspection report is clear that the council took swift and appropriate action to resolve these issues immediately when they were identified by inspectors.

Inspectors also identified several positives including the commitment of staff to helping children and families.

“I accept Ofsted’s findings; it is simply not acceptable for children to be left at risk because of poor practice. We responded immediately to concerns raised during the inspection.

“We want Cumbria to be a great place to be a child and grow up; I remain absolutely committed to that aspiration. We will use the outcome of this inspection to refocus where necessary and continue with the job we’ve started.”

– Julia Morrison, Director of Children's Services at Cumbria County Council

“Making sure vulnerable children are protected is the fundamental thing we must get right.

“I have considered the report findings very carefully. I accept its criticisms entirely but also note the support it gives to the corporate director and senior management team.

“I know that staff in Children’s Services work incredibly hard to support children and families, we need to make sure those staff have the support, supervision and training they need to do this very demanding job.

– Councillor Anne Burns, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services at Cumbria County Council