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Update on Bridgend’s children’s social services

Bridgend County Borough Council's Civic Offices on Angel Street (Pic: Bridgend County Borough Council)

CARE Inspectorate of Wales published an updated report last week on the continued monitoring of Bridgend Council’s Children’s Social Services.

The latest inspection that was held in November of 2022, followed a formal inspection conducted by the watchdog in May, where a number of issues with the service was raised.

The Bridgend’s Children’s Social Services was thrown in to the spotlight in 2021 after the murder of  five-year-old Logan Mwangi, who was killed by his mother, stepfather, and stepbrother in July 2021.

While the latest inspection showed a number of improvements had been made over the six month period, it also noted area’s where “further actions are needed to ensure the well-being of children and families.”
In the report, significant improvements were said to have been made in both managerial oversight, and work designed to ensure that the voices of local children are sought, heard and recorded.
It also noted better workforce recruitment and retention, as well as better staff support, supervision and training. Other strengths included good examples of collaborative partnership, with the service working with other agencies to share and review information.
However,  further improvements were required with the recruitment of a permanent workforce in the borough, as well as looking at how the council works with partners in identifying and responding to exploitation.

The report read: “During our PEI in May 2022, we identified a number of areas requiring improvements and where we had significant concerns. At this improvement check we found improvements have been made, however further actions are needed to ensure the well-being of children and families is consistently promoted and protected. It remains that the local authority’s children’s services require improvement.
“We will continue to closely monitor through our ongoing performance review
activities the progress made by the local authority in securing the improvements required.”

Councillor Jane Gebbie added: “This improvement check from Care Inspectorate Wales is highly encouraging, and demonstrates our ongoing commitment towards strengthening the overall effectiveness and resilience of our services for children.”
“We will continue to work with CIW to introduce further improvements across the service, and to ensure that we promote and protect the well-being of children and families.”