Social Services Face Fresh Criticism

Article excerpt

Byline: Peter Law

CARDIFF council's under-fire social services departments have been hit by fresh criticism, this time by Wales' care services watchdog.

In its annual review of the authority, the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) says only "limited progress" has been made in many areas identified for improvement and some parts of the service "deteriorated".

The findings will today be presented to the authority by CSSIW's regional director Sue Van Eijkern and lead inspector Howard Teague.

It comes just weeks after a separate inquiry found children's services staff in Cardiff had more than double the caseload social workers should have been taking on.

The investigation was launched after documents leaked to the Echo last year revealed intake and assessment staff were so overwhelmed with work they feared it could result in a child's death.

The CSSIW report, for the 2010/11 financial year, found the council has continued to see an increase in referrals to children's services.

It says performance in many aspects of children's services is "mixed" and "poor" in some parts of the service, such as assessment, with delays in responding to child protection concerns.

Frontline children's services teams continue to experience problems in recruiting and retaining social workers and managers.

Adult services, meanwhile, continue to have waiting lists for allocation and assessment. The inspector found assessments for older people and people with a disability required "considerable improvement development". …