Kingston Council under fire for 'failing to safeguard children'

Kingston Council has come under fire for 'failing to safeguard children'

Kingston Council has come under fire for 'failing to safeguard children'

First published in Kingston by

Kingston Council social workers are reviewing every child protection decision made in the last three months to make sure no children have been put in danger.

The review follows a damning Ofsted inspection report, made public today, which classed the council’s safeguarding of children as inadequate.

In one case, a vulnerable young person regularly went missing despite information suggesting she had been putting herself at considerable risk, according to the Ofsted report.

Another case was closed despite a young person suffering significant harm.

And in a third case, the council did not deal properly with a domestic violence murder.

The inspection found “serious failings...[in] child protection, particularly with regard to children and young people who had already been identified as suffering, or at risk of suffering, significant harm and who were subject to child protection plans”.

Kingston Council’s chief executive, Bruce McDonald, and council leader, Councillor Derek Osbourne, said the results were unacceptable.

Mr McDonald said: “All we can say is this isn’t acceptable and that we have reacted as strongly and positively as we can.”

The report follows a two-week inspection by Ofsted which resulted in the council scoring inadequate for overall effectiveness at safeguarding children and adequate in safeguarding looked-after children.

The report said “the council has not adequately addressed all the areas identified in their internal management review of a domestic violence homicide”.

Coun Osbourne said: “We have been found wanting [and] when we have had a national report for being outstanding before, it is a huge blow.”

He added: “Providing a service that is assessed as inadequate is simply not good enough for our residents.

“Kingston Council has a duty to provide the very highest levels of safeguarding for children and young people.”

Kingston Council said that as a previously high scoring authority in children’s safeguarding assessments it was one of a number of councils at the sharp end of what it called “an increasingly vigorous inspection criteria” but took full responsibility for failings.

Coun Osbourne said he would personally oversee a tough improvement plan to ensure young people in Kingston were safeguarded as well as possible.

Kingston Council’s director of children’s services Duncan Clark has resigned, teachers and governors were told in a letter on Friday.

Richmond Council’s director of children’s services, Nick Whitfield, has taken over as joint director for Richmond and Kingston’s new "safer together" improvement plan.


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Calls for resignation as Kingston Council child safeguarding labelled "inadequate"

Comments (5)

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10:53am Tue 10 Jul 12

reesmf says...

RBK was ranked outstanding previously because it was assiduous at preparing for Ofsted inspections, rather than for the quality of the services it provided. This also demonstrates that "outstanding" institutions in all sectors still need to be inspected regularly whereas the government wants to free them of this burden.
RBK was ranked outstanding previously because it was assiduous at preparing for Ofsted inspections, rather than for the quality of the services it provided. This also demonstrates that "outstanding" institutions in all sectors still need to be inspected regularly whereas the government wants to free them of this burden. reesmf
  • Score: 0

12:52pm Tue 10 Jul 12

Charlotte Vere says...

This is a shocking failure by the LibDems and demonstrates that they have simply taken their eye off the ball as the stress of falling support in the local community takes its toll.

They must be very pleased that this report did not come out before the Grove by-election or what was an already challenging result for them could have been devastating.

Personally, I would like to see Cllr Osbourne resign over this.
This is a shocking failure by the LibDems and demonstrates that they have simply taken their eye off the ball as the stress of falling support in the local community takes its toll. They must be very pleased that this report did not come out before the Grove by-election or what was an already challenging result for them could have been devastating. Personally, I would like to see Cllr Osbourne resign over this. Charlotte Vere
  • Score: 0

1:23pm Tue 10 Jul 12

Beverly RA says...

Pity this was not published before the bye election in Grove. All that nonscence about how good the Lib Dems are.
They must have known about this and kept quite.who can trust them?
Pity this was not published before the bye election in Grove. All that nonscence about how good the Lib Dems are. They must have known about this and kept quite.who can trust them? Beverly RA
  • Score: 0

5:25pm Tue 10 Jul 12

NewKingstonian says...

I'm left wondering just what Kingston Council do get right. It strikes me as a dysfunctional organisation which fails at every level except that the staff are happy and enjoy their jobs, so I am told.

Perhaps if staff enjoyed their jobs rather less and there was some effective leadership and managment things would be better all round.

Resignations required:

Councillor Osbourne
Bruce McDonald
The Director of Children's Services
The Head of Children's Social Services - who I am told is very popular with the staff and who they 'would not want to lose!'
I'm left wondering just what Kingston Council do get right. It strikes me as a dysfunctional organisation which fails at every level except that the staff are happy and enjoy their jobs, so I am told. Perhaps if staff enjoyed their jobs rather less and there was some effective leadership and managment things would be better all round. Resignations required: Councillor Osbourne Bruce McDonald The Director of Children's Services The Head of Children's Social Services - who I am told is very popular with the staff and who they 'would not want to lose!' NewKingstonian
  • Score: 0

11:59pm Mon 23 Jul 12

victim of social services says...

I have been a victim of this shower! Kingston residents should live in fear that this lot are allowed to ever hold any job of responsibility in our community. They are a disgrace! and YOU are paying for them to fail young vunerable people who you will end up paying for when their lives unravell in later life due to the non existant care they received from this lot!
I have been a victim of this shower! Kingston residents should live in fear that this lot are allowed to ever hold any job of responsibility in our community. They are a disgrace! and YOU are paying for them to fail young vunerable people who you will end up paying for when their lives unravell in later life due to the non existant care they received from this lot! victim of social services
  • Score: 0

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