what have walsall council changed when children are been mistreated in there systems

PUBLISHED: January 9, 2013 10:59 am LAST UPDATED: January 9, 2013 11:07 am

Scores of complaints on children’s services in Walsall

More than 120 complaints were lodged against children’s social care services in Walsall in 12 months. There were more than 200 issues raised within the complaints in the borough.

The largest area of concern in the complaints was staff conduct. Eight complaints were formally investigated by the Local Government Ombudsman of which two resulted in a finding of maladministration. It comes after a damning Ofsted inspection published last autumn.

The inspection found that vulnerable children in the borough were left at potential risk of harm.

Walsall Council says improvements have been made since the complaints, which were down from 140 the previous year.

Councillor Rachel Andrew, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “We value feedback from complaints because they help us to improve the services we provide for our service users.

“We do all we can to investigate any complaints efficiently and as fairly as possible and ensure we follow up and embed learning from them.”

The latest record of complaints, revealed in a new report, were between April 2011 and March 2012, and the majority were resolved at the beginning of the process.

Ten per cent were submitted directly by young people and 90 per cent on their behalf.

Heather Maybury, principal customer liaison officer in the council’s customer care team, said: “In the period reported, a total of 129 complaints were received about children’s social care services.

“Many of these complaints identified more than one issue of concern which we recorded separately to ensure all aspects were addressed.

“In total 204 issues were raised within the 129 complaints received.

“The majority of complaints were resolved at stage one of the complaints process.

“A number of service improvements have been made as a result of learning from complaints.”

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