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Six signs of progress at Norfolk County Council’s children’s services department

PUBLISHED: 13:15 28 April 2014 | UPDATED: 13:24 28 April 2014

County Hall.

County Hall.

Sarah Cocke

Although the number of children in care in Norfolk is falling at a very slow rate, there are other signs of improvement in the county council’s troubled children’s services department.

Last the year the department was hit by a series of blows from Ofsted and the government, including its child protection arrangements and its looked after children service both being given the worst-possible “inadequate” grading.

However, interim director of children’s services Sheila Lock, who took over last summer, has pointed to a number of areas where progress is being made:

• The number of children in need without a care plan has halved since January this year

• At April 14, 98pc of looked after children have up-to-date care plans, compared to 77pc at the end of March

• A five-strong team from other councils found that the improvement activities over the past six months had delivered tangible benefits

• All children with child protection plans are allocated to a qualified social worker, which was not the case in January

• A review of children in care has led to 29 being successfully reunified with their families

• A leaving care service will be set up for the third of looked after children who are older than 15.

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