Review of Childcare
Friday 15th June 2012
Clackmannanshire Council has welcomed the recommendations of an independent review into aspects of the service provided to looked after children.
The review was commissioned by the Council in response to criticism levelled by the local Sheriff, solicitors and safeguarders and involved an extensive review of case files and consultation with a wide range of stakeholders.
Chief Executive, Elaine McPherson, said: "It was clear from the nature of the concerns which were being voiced that there were significant issues in relation to certain aspects of childcare services and the review has provided a very clear picture of what needs to be improved."
An action plan responding to each of the findings has been prepared by social services management team which was discussed at a Council meeting today. Early actions have included taking on a number of additional staff in response to capacity issues.
Council Leader Gary Womersley, said: "The findings of the report are concerning and we need to go forward and make sure that the service is fit for purpose and properly resourced. The only way to take this forward is to have full transparency and accountability. For this very reason, I am pleased to say that following on from yesterday's meeting, the independent review will be made available publically on our website. This will require ongoing work with a whole range of external stakeholders in order to achieve the necessary structural, attitudinal and behavioural changes requires. The Administration has already committed £100,000 to support the improvement agenda and we will be closely monitoring the situation to ensure that improvement happens, and happens quickly."
The newly formed Housing, Health & Care Committee will have a key role in scrutinising the performance of social services in the future, with quarterly progress reports being submitted.
Committee Convenor, Councillor Les Sharp, said: "One of the main reasons we set up committees was to improve scrutiny of performance and give elected members a greater role in monitoring what services are doing. I intend to ensure that committee members are kept fully up to date with progress in taking forward the necessary improvements and that they play a key role in holding management to account."
Note to Editor
The new Committee will meet for the first time in August.