Cardiff Social Services Department Criticised Over Treatment Of Two Children

A COUNCIL has been criticised after two young children were removed from the Child Protection Register without a proper review.

Six years ago a joint review by the Audit Commission and Social Services Inspectorate found significant failings in the running of Cardiff County Council’s social services department, which had exposed children to “unacceptable risk”. The department was put into “special measures”, but those have since been lifted.

Now the Public Services Ombudsman has upheld a complaint from the grandmother of a four- year-old girl who, together with her 12-year-old half-sister, was removed from the Child Protection Register. The children’s mother has mental health problems.

The Ombudsman’s report, in which all identities are kept anonymous, says the council argued that the children were being adequately cared for and a review would be intrusive and upsetting.

“While I reiterate that the council is not required to carry out the recommendations, I am not convinced that it has given adequate weight to the concerns raised about the current assessment.

“While I accept the council’s point that in the professional judgment of its staff, there are currently no major concerns about A’s and B’s [the children’s] care.

“There does not appear to be any formal plan in place should an emergency arise or should there be concerns about A and B’s mother’s mental health.”

A spokeswoman for Cardiff County Council said, “We have implemented the recommendations of the Ombudsman.”