Rotherham set to overhaul its children’s services

Rotherham Council has unveiled plans to overhaul its children’s services after an independent report showed a lack of vision and purpose.

The report, written by independent consultants Children First, was jointly commissioned by NHS Rotherham and Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council in January. In addition to reviewing the vision, purpose and function of the service in general, the report highlighted a lack of spending on children’s social care and caseload pressures on social workers.

Shaun Wright, Rotherham’s cabinet member for children and young people’s services, said: “We are pleased the review has given us an independent view of how our service operates so that we can improve the care, help and support we give our children, young people and their parents and carers.”

The report also highlighted a number of areas of strength, including strong partnerships across local agencies and good investment in schools, health care and fostering.

Rotherham commissioned the review after its children’s services were rated “adequate” by Ofsted in 2008, having previously been rated “good”.

Standards of service had also come into question after the serious case review into the case of Chelsey Essex, who died at the age of 12 weeks while in foster care in Rotherham.