This Annual Report refers to outcomes from inspections of both safeguarding and looked after children’s services, and local authority arrangements to protect children.
The past decade has seen a series of high profile inquiries and reviews following the deaths or serious injuries of children. This has triggered a major programme of reform, some of which is only now beginning to take shape. At the end of the first full cycle of local authority inspections, we judged around 4 in 10 local authorities to be good or better for safeguarding. We also found 17 local authorities to be inadequate.
We continue to be concerned about the impact that inconsistent management has on regulated services. We will be taking action to re-focus both our inspection frameworks and the support we will be offering through our regional structure. Our priority throughout will be to set an ambitious standard for the lives of our most vulnerable children and young people.
The legal inspection year for most social care provision runs from April to March. We published the social care Annual Report in October 2013 to allow us to report on a full year’s inspection, following radical changes to several social-care frameworks.