The reviews main criticism of the council is that it failed to intervene in children’s lives often or effectively enough.
This combined with the fact that Children’s Services was graded ‘Inadequate’ by Ofsted in 2017 showed there was need for urgent change.
In February, Ofsted made its fifth monitoring visit since the department was rated inadequate in September 2017. However, it showed that Croydon children services was improving but still ‘poor’ in places. The biggest problem is the retention of and recruitment of staff with social workers having to juggle a case load of 15.
The learning from the review will inform every aspect of work and future service planning with children and young people in Croydon, says the council which is piloting an anti domestic abuse initiative and has set up Violent Reduction unit which will take a public health approach to tackle the root causes of serious violent crime
Di Smith, Chair of Croydon Safeguarding Children Board, said: “The review highlights the importance of strengthening families, building their resilience at an early stage – and the pivotal importance of education in children and young people’s lives.”
Responding to the review, Croydon’s cabinet member for children, young people and learning Cllr Alisa Flemming said it provided a “powerful reminder” of the reality many young people live.
Adding: “We must come together as a community support the 55 young people [still living], and to ensure we do all we can to tackle the issues that have been pivotal in their lives, from housing need to mental health, so we keep all our young people safe.”
This month London Sadiq Khan visited Croydon twice to see how the borough is leading the way tackling serious violent crime in the capital.
Council Leader Tony Newman said:
“We want to change services, join them up and drive a long-term prevention strategy.”