Ofsted have today produced a report suggesting that Local Councils continue to fail our children. 7 of the 43 Councils inspected were described as “dire” in their child protection measures. Ofsted claimed to find substantial evidence obtained throughout the course of the investigation that in the majority of cases vulnerable young adults and children were left waiting an unacceptable amount of time for the help they desperately needed.
By coincidence, I yesterday concluded a claim that has been ongoing for a number of years where 2 separate Councils agreed to pay a combined total of £150,000.00 to my client in settlement of a claim for childhood neglect and abuse which the client would not have suffered had the Social Services Department intervened to protect her.
I have literally hundreds of similar cases for children who have been let down by Social Services. The warning signs are there. There can be reports from neighbours and family members of suspected neglect. Concerns are raised by medical professionals or the Police. There are reports from the school. There is a failure to attend appointments and interact with Social Services yet the children are left in these situations where they are often being abused because Social Services failed to intervene to protect them until it is too late.
My experience as a Solicitor acting on behalf of these children is that the problem is not going away and that we are still regularly finding children who are being let down by Social Services failure to intervene to protect them from abuse and neglect. The comments of Debbie Jones on Radio 4 this morning are entirely correct: “A young person is left too long at home without the services they need. Get in early, get in quick. It can make a life long difference.”
Unfortunately until Social Services Departments improve their practice there will still be many more Claimants coming forward.
Here at Farleys Solicitors LLP our dedicated Claims Against Public Authorities Department specialise in pursuing claims against local authorities where they have failed to protect or adequately care for children. For further information or to speak to an experienced solicitor contact us on 0845 050 1958, alternatively please complete the online enquiry form.