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Surrey County Council to keep control of struggling children's services

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Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 2:26pm 8th November 2018. (Updated at 2:29pm 8th November 2018)

Surrey County Council is to keep control of its struggling children's services after being reviewed. 

In May this year SCC received a second inadequate Ofsted rating for its children's services which resulted in Trevor Dohughty, a government-appointed commissioner, being sent in to review it. 

Mr Doughty has praised the work of the new director of children's services Dave Hill, who was appointed just as the Ofsted report came out identifying a number of "serious failings". 

From June to September, Mr Doughty evaluated the work carried out as part of an improvement plan for children's social care. 

He met with staff, families and children and found "widespread and long-standing" problems with under performance of SCC's children's services going back ten years. 

Mr Doughty said Surrey has "been reluctant in the past to look outside the authority for assistance." 

In his report, Mr Doughty praised Mr Hill saying he came with "proven track record in bringing about significant improvements" to children's services. 

Mr Doughty's report concluded that "no alternative delivery model" is needed at this stage but stressed the need for another 6 month and 12 month review and said "commissioner oversight" should continue. 

He offered ten areas of recommendation including prioritising its Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub and to "bring home" the 50% of children in care who have been placed outside of Surrey. 

A spokesperson from Surrey County Council said they welcomed the report: 

“We know there is still a lot to do but are pleased the commissioner has recognised the strong leadership we have in place and the changes that we’re starting to make.
“The report highlights that we have many committed and skilled staff who feel optimistic about the future.
“We’re absolutely determined to work with them so everything possible is done to ensure support for children in Surrey is the very best it can be.”



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