Reading’s children’s services have been removed from government intervention after five years.
Reading’s Children’s Services were first placed in intervention in 2016 following an Ofsted inspection which found serious, persistent and systemic failures in the services provided to children who needed help and protection from Reading Borough Council.
The authority was then ordered by the government to set up a new company, Brighter Futures for Children (BFfC), to run the department, which began work in December 2018.
Vicky Ford, parliamentary under secretary of State for Children and Families, said she was lifting the government direction with immediate effect, as a result of the continuing improvement of children’s services by the council and BFfC.
Liz Terry, Reading Borough Council’s lead councillor for Children’s Services, said: ‘This is hugely welcome news for all staff working with children and families, whether at the Council or Brighter Futures for Children, who have worked so tirelessly over the last five years to drive forward improvements to children’s services in Reading.
‘What is even more impressive is that improvements have continued during the pandemic, which continues to throw up huge challenges for children’s services and local government, which are likely to continue for some years’ to come.
‘Children’s social care teams everywhere have a huge responsibility in minimising the impact of the pandemic on vulnerable children and young people. I am delighted that their hard work in Reading has been acknowledged in this way.
‘Along with our colleagues at Brighter Futures for Children, our statutory partners in health, police and in our schools, and the voluntary/community sector, we all have a responsibility to help every single child in Reading achieve their full potential, no matter how challenging their personal circumstances may be.
‘We know there is a long way to go and much more work to do, but the lifting of this notice is a major milestone in a continuing improvement journey.’
Photo Credit – Pixabay