Some young people in Bucks are still not receiving the support and protection they need due to ongoing inconsistency within the county’s failing children services.

However, there are “early signs of improvement” within Bucks County Council’s children’s services as leadership teams work “determinedly” to bring it up to scratch, according to Ofsted.

Today the watchdog published a letter following inspectors’ latest visit to the council in December – after the service was rated inadequate in January 2018.

In the letter inspector, Donna Marriott, said there has been a high turnover of social workers as council chiefs work to tackle performance issues – resulting in high caseloads for the remaining staff.

Some cases are handed over to managers, while some children are visited by duty staff, making it difficult for children to build “meaningful relationships” with social workers.

The letter states: “Some children’s cases are allocated to team managers and worked by duty social workers, while they await assessment or allocation.

“This results in delays for some families getting the help they need and makes it difficult for children to build meaningful relationships with social workers.

“Leaders have made concerted efforts to address these shortfalls, while ensuring oversight to mitigate potential risks, but considerable pressures remain.

“Despite these pressures, morale across the workforce is positive, with most social workers reporting that they enjoy working in Buckinghamshire and feel supported by their peers and managers.”

Inspectors added there are “continuing weaknesses” within child protection planning – as some plans lack clear timescales for delivery and are difficult for parents to understand.

However, Ofsted praised council leadership teams for increasing oversight of child protection planning since the January inspection.

Ms Marriott said: “The senior leadership team has ensured increased oversight of child protection planning since the inspection.

“They have begun to review child protection planning for disabled children and for children who have been subject to plans for longer periods, having identified weaknesses in practice.

“As management oversight has been strengthened, this has led to an increase in applications to the court.

“However, continuing weaknesses in the effectiveness of child protection planning remain, as evidenced in sampling by inspectors.”

To view the full letter published by Ofsted visit: