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London Borough forced to give up control of safeguarding children

Following a damning report from Ofsted, Kingston Borough Council has been forced to hand over its safeguarding children responsibilities to Richmond Council – the first London borough to have to do so. The hand-over includes the responsbility for children in case, social services, adoption and keeping children safe in local schools.

The report found the department as a whole “inadequate” and pointed to significant failings in how the Council was looking after children at risk.

Kingston council leader Derek Osbourne said that the Ofsted report was “a terrible shock”.

John Azah, of the Local Safeguarding Children Board, said “This was quite a forensic examination of the processes. So, even though there haven’t been any major disasters, I understand we could have been a bit more responsible to some of the things that may have been developing”.

Council social workers are now understood to be reviewing every child protection decision made in the past three months to make sure that no children have been put into danger.