Ofsted has declared a northern local authority “inadequate” following the deaths of three vulnerable children.
In a newly published report, the organisation noted that all three youngsters died in unrelated incidents during the time its inspectors were on site with Lancashire County Council in September and October. Each child had been in receipt of assistance from council social workers.
Although it was too soon to allocate any blame, the incidents suggested the need for improvements in the way social workers dealt with similar cases.
The report declares:
“Inspectors looked at the social work records of these children with senior managers from the local authority, who agreed some of the practice was poor. Some of this poor practice was seen in a much larger number of cases where children had not been harmed.”
Amongst other claims, Ofsted claimed insufficient efforts had been made to consult key external organisations and that inexperienced staff had sometimes been allocated overly complex work. In addition, risk assessments had on occasion been made without due considering relevant past events.