Birmingham City Council child services improving

Children’s services at Birmingham City Council are improving after the government said it was giving them 12 months to get better.

Fifteen children in the city have died due to abuse or neglect since 2005.

Children’s Minister Dawn Primarolo said the council had achieved much but that more support was needed.

In January, the government said it would use “statutory powers to direct a solution” if the council did not make enough progress.

‘Hard work’

In a letter to council leader Mike Whitby, Ms Primarolo said performance indicators reflected the hard work the front-line social work team was putting in to improve assessments and reviews.

She added that the new approach to service improvement had not yet had time to fully embed and that Birmingham would need further support for which she was willing to consider providing some funding.

Councillor Whitby said the letter was “heartening”.

“There is a lot of hard work being done behind the scenes to address the problems that have been highlighted.

“We know there is more to be done but I believe we are now well on the road to improvement.”