‘Serious failings’ continue in Birmingham’s children services

The latest Ofsted inspection report has rated Birmingham City Council's children's services as ‘inadequate’, marking no change in rating since 2008.

The 40-page report, which highlighted ‘serious and widespread failings’, identified too many children as ‘being at risk of immediate harm’, but said that the council was making ‘important steps forward’.

Criticisms highlighted the ‘inconsistent’ work to tackle the sexual exploitation of children, with services for children missing from home or care deemed poor and disabled children in need of help having to wait too long for support.

Additionally, referrals for domestic abuse were found to be ‘high’ at more than 3,000 per month, leaving social workers battling a backlog of 401 cases.

Ofsted added that the multi-agency hub which brings together agencies like social workers, police, and health professionals to make referrals about children's cases, was not being effectively managed, leaving children unable to receive the right services.

Councillor Brigid Jones said: “When we began our three-year improvement journey we said that we would remain inadequate at this stage. However there are areas that have improved. I see this as a positive report in the context of where we expected to be.”