1. ITV Report

Middlesbrough children's social care service 'inadequate'

Children's services in Middlesbrough have been branded inadequate Credit: PA Images

Ofsted inspectors have branded children's social care services in Middlesbrough as inadequate.

In a report published today the agency has highlighted a series of "serious and widespread" failures.

This inspection was led by its lead inspector Jan Edwards.

The report states:

Since the last inspection in 2015, the quality of children’s services in Middlesbrough has deteriorated and services are now inadequate. There are serious and widespread failures that leave children in harmful situations for too long.

Risks to children and young people, including those who are being exploited, are not appropriately recognised, and insufficient action is taken to help and protect children. Leaders had recognised that significant improvements still need to be made, but had not fully identified the extent of the inadequacy at the point of inspection.

– Ofsted report
  • Watch Rachel Bullock's full report here:

The report judged services inadequate in four areas.

These are the impact of leaders on social work practice with children and families; the experiences and progress of children who need help and protection; the experiences and progress of children in care and care leavers; overall effectiveness.

It has set out a series of improvements that it wants to see from the Middlesbrough Council.

The town's mayor, Andy Preston, said:

No excuses – the children and people of Middlesbrough deserve the very best, and we have fallen way short of that.

As Mayor of Middlesbrough I would like to apologise, and give a firm commitment hat we will put this right.

We fully accept the inspectors’ findings which are the culmination of a number of factors going back many years. Councils across the country – including Sunderland, Bradford, Blackpool and a number of London boroughs – have found themselves in a similar situation due to ballooning demand.

This is a fresh start, and we’re already taking on board everything the Inspectors have had to say.

We’re working with partners across Teesside and beyond – from police and health to the courts and Department for Education - to ensure we deliver quick, effective and lasting improvements.I want to reassure parents and families that children’s safety and well-being is, and always will be, our number one priority.

– Andy Preston, Middlesbrough Mayor