WATCHDOGS are due to receive an update on action taken to tackle systemic failings in Isle of Wight Council child protection this week.
A plan identifying areas for improvement has been drafted in the wake of a damning Ofsted report that branded children’s services inadequate.
A progress report to be presented to the Isle of Wight Council’s children and young people scrutiny panel on Thursday, outlines plans — announced last week — for Hampshire’s director of children’s services, John Coughlan, to assume the statutory role of director of children’s services for both local authorities.
It also details a new children’s improvement board, independently chaired by Prof Ray Jones, to be in place by the end of March, which will meet monthly to oversee the delivery of the council’s improvement plan, and ensure practice standards are raised to adequate.
Frontline staff will have an opportunity to contribute to the work of the board through a new delivery group.
According to the report, a review of all children subject to a child protection plan and 30 section 47 enquiries — an enquiry made by social services after concerns are raised about the welfare of a child — have, so far, found no cases where there was deemed to be an immediate threat to the safety of a child.
But the report added: "There were, however, some cases where auditors had sufficient concerns to escalate matters to senior managers where there was evidence of unacceptable practice."
The report, which will go before the council’s cabinet next Tuesday, states two interim strategic managers of social work have replaced two commissioning managers who were not qualified social workers.
The council is also appointing six additional social workers.