A report which assesses how Peterborough tackles abuse and neglect in the city has found a number of strengths, but there are still a lot of improvements to make.
The review jointly carried out by Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission, HMI Constabulary and HMI Probation praised the effectiveness of the many organisations in Peterborough working together, as well as the overall effectiveness of senior leadership.
However, inspectors noted that older children are being neglected for too long and that more needs to be done at schools to make sure children have their neglect identified.
The report, which does not come with an overall rating, has been welcomed by senior figures at Peterborough City Council, one of several authorities to be assessed.
Lou Williams, service director for children and safeguarding, said: “There are lots of positives. What I was pleased about is most of the areas they have identified where we need to improve we have already identified. Inspectors said they have confidence in what we are doing.
“We do recognise we can do better, but we are quite similar to a lot of other areas in the country.”
He added: “It’s really good to see the hard work and dedication of frontline staff in social work, health services and schools. They do a tough job in difficult circumstances.”
Cllr Sam Smith, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “There are no surprises, which is good news. For Ofsted to come in and say we agree with you is reassuring. They said we have strong leadership which makes me comfortable that we have the right people.”
To make improvements a multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH) has been launched, and inspectors also highlighted the Family Safeguarding Service which is being piloted in Peterborough thanks to a successful bid for £2.8 million from the Department for Education.
The service brings together into one team staff from a number of agencies who work with children under 13 and their families.
The aim is to tackle domestic abuse, substance misuse and mental health issues which place children at risk of harm and reduce the number of children coming into care, or needing to be subject to child protection plans wherever possible.