Bridgend children’s services staff praised

Council employees in Bridgend have been praised for “sustained and substantial improvement” in children’s services. It has led to the lifting of a “serious concern” protocol after a review by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW).

Inspectors said Bridgend County Borough Council now responded “much more promptly and effectively” to initial concerns about children.

Council leader Mel Nott called it “excellent news”.

“As a cabinet we have been determined to see a sustained and substantial improvement in this area, and I have been very closely involved in monitoring progress,” he said.

“I know how dedicated staff within the children’s directorate have been to making this happen.”

The council said the review of children’s services by CSSIW found that social services staff and managers had “have continued to work hard to secure further improvements and have established more robust systems for consistent assessment of risk and effective decision making”.

The authority said staff were “supported by strong corporate leadership for children’s services and performance management arrangements have been established”.

Reviewing progress

CSSIW chief inspector Rob Pickford said the council was also much more reliable in planning for children’s welfare and reviewing progress.

He added: “The relationship between the inspectorate and the authority can now revert to one of normal business, with the Inspectorate checking progress through our normal programme of inspection and reviews.”

Welsh Assembly Government Deputy Social Services Minister Gwenda Thomas said there had been a “significant turnaround”.

She said: “While the improvement journey is not yet complete, there is strong leadership and a much improved culture and services for vulnerable children have greatly improved.

“They deserve congratulation for the substantial progress they have made, in overcoming serious past problems and improving the service to vulnerable children and their families.

“They have the commitment and capacity to continue this progress of their own accord.”