Serious failings found in Birmingham children’s services

A scrutiny committee has unearthed serious failings in Birmingham’s children’s services department after local councillors were ordered to investigate child protection practices in the area.

According to a story published by the Birmingham Post today, the inquiry into children’s social services, which is due to be published in the autumn, reveals systematic failures.

The report slams social workers for abandoning children and young people in care, the Post claimed. Staff apparently neglected to consider adoption for looked-after children.

The department also has a serious problem with absenteeism, the story alleges, with up to 20 per cent of social workers off work at any point in time.

This problem is being exacerbated by the rise in referrals since the death of Baby P, the story said.

Birmingham Council refused to either confirm or deny the allegations. A spokesman told CYP Now that it would be inappropriate to discuss the report before it is published.

But Jon Hunt, a local Liberal Democrat councillor who is part of the scrutiny team, told a council meeting earlier this month that there are “deep-rooted problems” in Birmingham’s children’s social care department.

Local Conservative councillor Len Clark is leading the inquiry but is unable to comment until the publication of the report.

Ofsted rated Birmingham inadequate for safeguarding in its last Annual Performance Assessment.