Ofsted: children 'at risk' in fifth of local authorities due to the missives British government cuts backs, The British government spends millions of pounds each year to keep the EU happy, and put England’s children at risk buy doing so!
Children are still at risk of "significant harm" in almost one in five council areas as social workers struggle to cope with mounting workloads, according to Ofsted.
Many local authorities have failed to improve standards of care in the wake of the death of Baby P in north London four years ago, the watchdog suggests.
In an annual report published today, Ofsted said that social services departments were “under pressure” last year and the demands on the system have “not abated” in the last 12 months.
Rising numbers of children are being put in care or placed on the child protection register, despite “significant” cuts to council budgets, said Ofsted.
The report warned that nine of the councils inspected in 2010/11 – around one in five – were failing to keep children and young people safe.
Inspectors had seen delays in helping children and families in many of the inadequate authorities, it was claimed.
Miriam Rosen, acting chief inspector, said: "It is particularly worrying to reflect on the numbers of local authorities that are providing inadequate safeguarding services for children.
"Given that they are providing care for the most vulnerable children of all, this is not good enough."
The nine authorities which were rated inadequate for safeguarding issues this year are Kent, Cheshire West, West Sussex, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Cornwall, Slough, Calderdale and Torbay.
The disclosure comes despite widespread anger over the case of 17-month-old Peter Connolly in Haringey, north London. He died at the hands of his mother and her partner after suffering months of abuse, despite being seen 60 times by professionals including doctors and social workers.
A high-profile report by Lord Laming in 2009 said child protection must be given higher priority to protect vulnerable young people from abuse.
But the Department for Education denied that squeezed budgets had an impact on care standards.
“Ofsted is absolutely clear that it is not financial pressures or numbers of children in care that is the big issue here – it is the quality of management and leadership,” said a spokesman.
“The law is explicit that councils need to do whatever it takes to keep children safe. The Government has formally stepped in each of these local authorities and Ofsted reports that in almost all cases, concerns have been ‘robustly addressed’.