THE WELSH Government is a step closer to taking over Children’s Services at Powys County Council after giving the authority a “follow up” warning notice.

Senior Staff and councillors will meet government ministers in Cardiff tomorrow, Tuesday, January 16, where they will be told the contents of the follow up warning and what they will now need to do to rectify the situation.

This follows a damning report published in October by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW)  now called the Care Inspectorate Wales, which said that children had been put “at risk” by failings in the department.

The council had set aside £4 million to rectify problems in the department and has now asked the Government for more funding. 

A spokesman for the Welsh Government said: “If Powys County Council does not carry out the actions set out within the specified period satisfactorily, Welsh Ministers are minded to more directly intervene in one or more of the methods of intervention provided for under sections 152-161 of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014.”

The follow up warning comes after the CSSIW returned to the department for a monitoring visit in December 2017.

According to the Welsh Government, the authority is failing to provide adequate care in a numbe of areas includng: assessing the needs of individuals, the general duty of care to secure sufficient accommodation for looked after children and dealing with complaints.

Powys County Council will be required to  submit a revised Improvement Plan to Care Inspectorate Wales and a copy to the Welsh Government’s  Director of Social Services and Integration no later than February 7 .

The revised plan is to include actions for improvement which the authority will achieve – within six months of the date of this notice, a year later and up to January 2020.

Powys Council will also be expected to introduce a quality assurance framework to improve consistency and standards of frontline practice across the county.

The framework must be drafted by March 31 and the authority must be able to provide substantial evidence of implementation of the framework by June 30.

Kirsty Williams, Welsh Lib Dem AM for Brecon and Radnorshire, said: “Whilst it is welcome to hear that some improvements have been made it is right that the Minister has issued another notice in the absence of complete confidence that the improvement plans can be successfully implemented.

 “Clearly there is still a long way to go and the Independent/Conservative Powys Cabinet need to work quickly to ensure that some of the most vulnerable people in the county are better protected. 

"I will continue to work constructively with all sides to try to ensure this happens.”

A spokesman for Powys County Council said they were waiting to see the details before making a comment.