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SALFORD CHILDRENS SERVICES
 

Star date: 14th June 2010 

ANOTHER CHILD PROTECTION RESIGNATION IN SALFORD

Michael Kemp, the head of Salford's Child Protection Service, has now resigned from Salford Council, adding to a whole list of Council staff involved in safeguarding our kids who have now left the department.

It comes in the wake of leaked information from OFSTED, which has shown the Council getting another `inadequate' rating for its Children's Services. But where are the other resignations?

Full details here…


Is there anyone actually left at Salford Council looking after the city's most vulnerable kids?

Michael Kemp's resignation, as Head of Children's Protection Service, is the latest in a long line of people who have left the Council in the wake of constant criticism from all quarters of its ability to safeguard children.

The criticism goes back to 2005, when internal Council reports (in response to the outcry and subsequent report around Victoria Climbie in 2003) stated that the Council "has had to limit provision (on child protection) for children in need" and that "early intervention is almost impossible..."

In almost every year since then Salford Council's safeguarding service has come in for criticism. In November 2007 an OFSTED Report stated that "the council's services for supporting children and young people to stay safe are inadequate".

And in spring 2008 John Merry, Leader of Salford Council, assured readers of the Salford Star that "I'm making changes to make sure that never happens again". A few months after this appeared Demi Leigh was murdered.

In the wake of yet more reports criticising the Council, Jill Baker, the Head of Children's Services, was sacked and more resignations followed. Councillor John Warmisham, Lead Member for Children's Services has since been shunted into Adult Services. But the problems are ongoing…

This month the Salford Star reported that Salford Council's latest `Strategic Risk Register' put safeguarding in a red High Risk box, stating "Practice in safeguarding children may develop with insufficient pace or sustainability", while a highly confidential Child Protection case study was found lying the street. And the Manchester Evening News reported that the next OFSTED Report on Salford's Children's Services will give yet another `inadequate' rating.

Now Michael Kemp, in charge of safeguarding Salford's most vulnerable children has resigned. But, as the Salford Star has pointed out many times over the past few years, those directly responsible and accountable for Children's Services at Salford Council are still in position – namely John Merry, Leader of Salford City Council, and Barbara Spicer, Chief Executive.

Meanwhile, the problems with safeguarding our kids continue…

In a Council committee meeting around Safeguarding in April, Councillor Gray expressed concern "regarding one of the locality teams that should have eight health workers in the team but does not have any".

In a Council statement on Michael Kemp's resignation, Nick Page, acting strategic director of children's services, said: "It is not appropriate for me to comment on someone's personal decision to leave the authority. Michael was the head of service for child protection for more than six years and I wish him well in whatever he chooses to do next."

The full Salford Star history of Salford Council's inadequate service in safeguarding our kids can be found by clicking...Here and Here and Here and Here

Updated 21st June 2010 - click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Collyhurst wrote
at 18:23:02 on 17 June 2010
I think we have to be clear when criticism is directed at Childrens' Services, that it is staffed by many caring people who are trying to do the best they can with limited resources. It is clear that these staff are trying to do the best they can in an area where poverty and the social consequences of poverty impact to a far greater degree on children than they do in more affluent areas. It is also clear that the idea that vulnerable children can just be taken from 'problem' families and placed in care, is often not an option when resources are so stretched or indeed non-existent. Furthermore, children placed in care can often be more susceptible to all kind of abuse, and moves in this direction can make them more vulnerable not less. It is clear that within Childrens' Services, among some senior managers that a culture of 'covering their backs' exists that for these people is far more important than dealing with the issues that many problem families present. Bringing the government in to run these services (de facto privatisation) is not the answer. Better resourcing and less careerism among top levels of senior management is part of the answer. More accountability from our elected representatives is the other principal factor.
 
mary ferrer wrote
at 16:47:02 on 16 June 2010
In the 4 years I was a councillor I saw NO improvement within childrens services. I have sat in full council and heard the leader of the council say he was PLEASES we had been given an ADEQUATE rating. We are talking the most vunerable members of our community and we are happy that we are ADEQUATE, that to me say't it all, the leader of the council thinks our looked after children are only worthy of ADEQUATE. In 2008 Merry and Spicer stated they would take over childrens services and it looks like they haven't done any better,in fact it now looks worse. I hope the Goverment now step in as they were going to do 2/3 years ago and try to do something positive before we are reading of another Demi Lea Mahon. I have worked with Mr Kemp over issues in my ward and I found him to be a very kind caring person. I just hope Merry and Co don't make him the bad boy.After all Merry and Co took over this department 2/3 years ago.
 
Told You wrote
at 13:20:46 on 15 June 2010
Everything that they put Warmisham in charge of loses stars. I wonder if he will blame this on a Tory government?
 
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