Warning on care system

Coun Sarah Riding (below) wants to get Blackpool's care system right.
Coun Sarah Riding (below) wants to get Blackpool's care system right.
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CHILD protection chiefs in Blackpool have pledged to get the balance right when it comes to placing children into care.

A committee of MPs has warned more children at risk should be taken into council care and said too often the benefit of the doubt was given to neglectful parents.

Coun Sarah Riding

Coun Sarah Riding

Blackpool already has the highest proportion of children in care in the country with around 455 youngsters currently being looked after by the council.

Now work is being carried out to try and keep more children with their families, but social services bosses said this could only happen if there was no threat to the child’s welfare.

Coun Sarah Riding, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “Our main priority is to make sure Blackpool children enjoy a happy and safe upbringing.

“Unfortunately, that can’t always be with their birth parents, but when needed our children’s homes provide a high quality of care to children to ensure they receive the best possible start in life.

“In addition to this, we have some fantastic foster carers in Blackpool that can support the stability that these children need.

“It has been well publicised that the number of looked after children in Blackpool is high and our work is focused on making sure that looked after children are given the same opportunities as everybody else.”

The report, from the House of Commons Education Select Committee, warned too many children were being left in circumstances of “long-term, chronic neglect”.

Coun Riding added: “Our early intervention strategy is also targeted to reduce the amount of children who need to come into our care, meaning that their families are better equipped to keep their children protected and allow them to live the early life that they deserve.”

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