County’s child protection services ‘inadequate’

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An Ofsted report has judged child protection services at Northamptonshire County Council as ‘inadequate’.

The highly critical report was published at 9.30am today.

The report said: “Children and young people in Northamptonshire are not effectively protected from harm.

“There are systematic weaknesses and inconsistent and ineffective practices that contribute to children and young people at risk of harm not consistently being recognised or helped.

“Agencies do not focus sufficiently on the potential risks faced by children and young people to ensure that further harm is prevented.”

The chief executive of the council, Paul Blantern, said the authority fully accepted the findings of the investigation.

He said: “There are two major themes emerging from the inspection process. The first is that we and our partners need to improve the way we identify and assess children’s vulnerability so we can reduce the risk of children and young people suffering harm and abuse.

“The second is that we need to make sure we listen to and see things much more from the child’s perspective.

“Children and young people are not being appropriately involved in existing processes and as a result, their feelings and experiences are too infrequently taken into account.”

In response to the report, the council has launched an immediate ‘recovery programme’.