Northamptonshire council 'failing to keep children safe'

Northamptonshire County Council's children's services has been rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted inspectors, after it was found to still be ‘failing to keep children safe’.

Earlier this year, two serious case reviews found that the local authority had failed to protect murdered children, as two-year-old Dylan Tiffin-Brown and one-year-old Evelyn-Rose Muggleton were victims of separate murders in the county.

Pauline Higham, Ofsted’s lead inspector, spoke recently about the range of ‘significant weaknesses’ in the county's children's services, with her report finding that ’there are highly vulnerable children in care who are living in unregulated placements that are unsafe and unsuitable’.

Staff were deemed too often slow to act, indecisive and complacent, resulting in children being at risk of neglect or abuse, and often left in harmful situations for too long.

The poor Ofsted report marks the latest blow for the council, which declared effective bankruptcy last year.

Northamptonshire children's services director Sally Hodges said she ‘accepted the findings’ and ‘recognised the failings’ in the report.