Voluntary trust to take over Birmingham children’s services

Birmingham council children’s services department is to be taken over by a voluntary trust after warnings were raised over the council’s failure to protect children.

The department has been rated inadequate since 2008 and a May 2014 Ofsted inspection found that over a three month period, the cases of 145 children were closed due to a lack of services.

Birmingham has also seen failings by social workers highlighted in investigations into the deaths of vulnerable children, including seven-year-old Kyra Ishaq, who was starved to death in 2008, and two-year-old Keanu Williams, who was beaten to death by his mother in 2011.

In a statement, the council said: “As part of Birmingham City Council’s improvement journey it is the intention to move to a new model of children’s services – a voluntary trust.

“We are now at the start of the third year of our agreed improvement journey plan and it is acknowledged by our Children’s Services Commissioner that expected progress has been made. Key to this has been putting families at the centre of social work. It is now the time to consider a model that has social workers at its centre.”

The decision for children’s services to be run by a trust has not yet been formally approved by the council cabinet.

A spokesperson for the Department of Education said: “The prime minister was clear that we cannot tolerate failure in children’s services. That is why we are looking at the best next steps, including moving towards a voluntary trust.”

The news comes as the Communities and Local Government Committee announced that it will be conducting an inquiry into the takeover of Rotherham council following the town’s child sexual abuse scandal.

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Sadie Parfitt   25/05/2016 at 12:59

One serious case review is one to much. Social workers police education and medical experts do not share information readily it remains a time consuming process. As long as parents/primary carers are intent on abusing children to the point of killing them there will be no end to serious case reviews ,regardless of who is managing childrens services. the Social workers are being held up as the one and only responsible body who allowed the deaths of children to take place. What about the police education health visitors neighbours etc . The government is doing what it usually does when they screw up find a scapegoat and hang them out . Social workers are like everyone else some good some not so good but all trying to improve the lives of the those families who struggle. It will be interesting to see the outcome from Doncaster children's services who have been taken over .

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