Headlines: June 8th, 1998

Management, planning and policy have all been found wanting in a damning report on services for children in the North East of England.

The report by the Social Services Inspectorate says the Kingston upon Hull Council needs to take urgent action to tackle a range of issues, such as children judged at risk but without allocated social workers, the number of children in care, and the lack of early help for troubled families.

Although the council has prepared an action plan, SSI says the size of the task is immense and will require significant commitment to turn around.

Averil Nottage, Deputy Chief Inspector, said: “Urgent action should be taken by Kingston upon Hull council to grip a number of issues, including unallocated child care cases, the lack of early intervention for troubled children and families, and long term and inherited deficiencies in strategic planning.”

Kingston upon Hull underwent one of ten sample inspections of local authorities across England. The inspection examined the policy and strategic framework for services to children, management arrangements, the quality of professional practice and the outcomes for children and their families.

Kingston-upon-Hull became a new unitary local authority following the abolition of the former Humberside County Council on 1 April 1996. It was one of ten local authorities sampled for quality of policy and strategic framework for services to children, the relevant management arrangements, the quality of professional practice and the outcomes for children and their families. Standards set by the SSI for evaluating services are drawn from legislation, national guidance, research and good practice.