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New report commends children's social care

Article By: Leicestershire County Council

Leicestershire County Council's work to protect vulnerable children has been commended by Ofsted.

Inspectors were particularly pleased with a new duty desk set up to deal with concerns about children, and the way in which the council works with the police.

The comments are included in a new report published this week following a two-day unannounced inspection in June.

On top of the two strengths, the report states that nine service areas meet requirements, picks out three areas for development and highlights no areas for immediate improvement.

Ivan Ould, Leicestershire County Council cabinet member for the children and young people's service, said: "The safety of children in Leicestershire is our main concern and I'm pleased that inspectors have commended our work.

"Over the past 12 months, we've made changes to how we work with partners and deal with concerns about children, and it's good news that this report backs up those improvements.

"Our central duty desk makes sure that we give the best and most immediate response we can to anyone who calls with concerns about a child’s welfare, whilst freeing up social workers to spend more time in communities."

Launched last September, the desk is a single number staffed with trained officers to receive all calls about vulnerable children. Contacted around 1,000 a month, it is enabling social workers to spend more time in the community and resulting in a quicker and more consistent responses to calls.

The council is already taking steps to address the areas for development which involved caseloads, quality of assessment and electronic records.