'Serious failings' in Sunderland's children's services

There are "widespread and serious failures" in Sunderland City Council's services for children and young people, according to Ofsted.

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NSPCC say Sunderland Council's slow progress in dealing with vulnerable children is 'unacceptable'

A report released today by Ofsted has criticised Sunderland Council's children's services, pointing to major inadequacies in the way it deals with vulnerable children.

The NSPCC has said in a statement that pressures on council budgets should not be used as an excuse for delivering poor services.

The local authority must take urgent action to ensure children at risk of harm get the protection they need. Problems with staffing levels can increase the strain on services but this cannot be an excuse for jeopardising child protection. It is unacceptable that some cases have been caught in a bottleneck for many months.

High quality and effective child protection services are a non-negotiable part of what local authorities must provide and this should include a high level of support for frontline workers. Keeping children safe from harm is everyone’s responsibility, from local communities to councils and statutory agencies and we welcome the council’s development of an improvement plan to improve these services as soon as possible.

– NSPCC Spokesperson

Sunderland Council leader: clearing backlog of cases is main priority

Leader of the Council Paul Watson gave an interview to ITV Tyne Tees in which he accepted the failings in Sunderland Council's children's services highlighted by today's Ofsted report.

The main challenge facing the authority is clearing the large backlog of cases involving children at risk of neglect and abuse.


Children 'being left unsafe' in Sunderland, says Ofsted

A shocking report into children's services in Sunderland has criticised widespread failures and poor leadership.

File photo Credit: PA

The report by Ofsted has said that children are being left unsafe.

Among the areas ruled inadequate are:

  • Child protection
  • Adoption
  • Children in care

Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw has written to the Secretary of State, Nicky Morgan, calling for action to be taken as soon as possible.

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