Member of Parliament for Southport, Damien Moore, has today addressed the recurring shortcomings of Sefton’s Children’s Services, as highlighted in the recent Ofsted monitoring report.
Despite the lapse of eighteen months since the terrible findings, challenges remain, even after the introduction of two new Directors of Children’s Services, a new cabinet member, and a new Chief Executive. It was anticipated that such changes under the Labour-led Sefton Council would usher in much-needed improvements. However, these hopes have again been cruelly dashed by this latest report.
Ofsted’s findings show that the quest for permanence for children is progressing at a disconcerting pace, with prevalent issues in care planning and an alarming trend of “drift and delay”. Inconsistencies persist, affecting children’s stability, while physical health services are commendable, mental, and emotional support are facing troubling delays. The reality is there is an urgent need for comprehensive reforms to ensure consistent, high-quality care for our children.
This news follows the Children’s Minister writing to the Council in July of this year, directing Sefton to deliver the recommendations set out in the Commissioner’s June 2023 report, alongside any outstanding recommendations which have previously been identified by OFSTED, and criticising the Council for not making adequate improvements to the services.
Damien Moore, Member of Parliament for Southport, said:
“It is of the utmost importance that Sefton’s Children’s Services meet their legal and moral obligations to Southport’s children. We must remain vigilant and ensure that Southport’s children receive nothing less than they deserve from the political decision makers at Sefton Council.”
“Under the current Labour-led Council, the need for immediate and concrete actions cannot be stressed enough. The future of Southport’s children is too valuable to be hampered by bureaucratic delays and lacklustre efforts from those at the top of Sefton’s Children Services. How much longer will this inept Council gamble with children’s futures?”
In the report, Lisa Summers, His Majesty’s Inspector, said:
“Since the last inspection, the pace of improvement for children who need permanence is too slow. While there is improving management oversight of some children, changes are not having a systematic impact on improving children’s experiences.”
“Too many children continue to experience drift and delay in achieving permanence and having their needs met as weaknesses in care planning remain. Children who need protective action while in care do not always receive a safe and timely response.”