Blaenau Gwent care services praised

IMPROVEMENTS to Blaenau Gwent’s social services were praised last week by an official report.

The Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) delivered its first report into the authority’s social services department at a full council meeting on Thursday.

Jill Lewis from the CSSIW told councillors that the management of children’s care was “well developed”, and that 82 per cent of adult care cases were reviewed at least once every 12 months.

She said the authority’s fostering and adoption services were also working well, provision for disabled children and their families was improving, and that efforts were being made to support people in need of care in their own homes so that the use of residential care could be reduced.

Areas for improvement highlighted by Ms Lewis included the educational achievements of children looked after by the council, and the employment opportunities made available to them once they turned 16.

This CSSIW’s report followed the council’s own annual review, which said the department had made impressive progress in five years.

The Argus reported in October how Ebbw Vale North councillor John Rogers, who is now the executive member for social services, described improvements in the social services department as “amazing”, with fewer children on the child protection register and more youngsters being supported by the council to stay with their families.

The improvements came after a Social Services Inspectorate report revealed a series of failings in 2003 and 2004, leading to a new management team being put in place.