Report praises Newport’s social services

IMPROVING customer service, collaborating with charities and working with ethnic groups to promote the safeguarding of children are among the strengths of Newport’s social services department, according to an inspection report.

The Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales (CSSIW) report highlights Newport council’s strengths in improving customer service, collaborating with children’s charity Barnado’s and opening of the Argus-backed Serennu Children’s Centre at High Cross, which is leading to more integrated services for disabled children and their families.

It states: “Children, young people and adults who require support and services have benefited fromnewservices and the continued development of existing services.

There is evidence that service users are receiving more local and person-centred day opportunities,with better outcomes for individual people.”

The report comments that the Serennu Centre “offers extensive facilities for disabled children and their families supported by staff from health and social services”.

The report author states that information about major services is readily available, both online and in leaflet form, and the council also recognises that different groups, including minority ethnic communities, may access social care in different ways.

It also praises the council for working with local mosques to promote understanding about the safeguarding and protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults.

Councillor David Hando, social services cabinet member, said: “We are committed to providing the best possible services for children, young people and vulnerable adults.

“It is extremely pleasing that the CSSIW has recognised that Newport is doing well.”

The CSSIW also identified areas where improvement is needed, including the timely completion of reviews, continuing to modernise adult services, strengthening the commissioning and contracting team and making better use of advocacy. The council said it isaddressing these issues.