Council's services only adequate'

PUBLISHED: 11:48 06 January 2006 | UPDATED: 13:21 28 May 2010

TEENAGE pregnancies in the Fens show no signs of declining, says a Government study. The report says that while teenage pregnancy trends throughout much of Cambridgeshire are on line to meet the national target of a 15 per cent reduction, Fenland is def

TEENAGE pregnancies in the Fens show no signs of declining, says a Government study.

The report says that while teenage pregnancy trends throughout much of Cambridgeshire are 'on line' to meet the national target of a 15 per cent reduction, Fenland is defying the downward trend.

"There remain some areas where the strategy has not yet had sufficient impact, particularly in Fenland," says the report by Ofsted and the Commission for Social Care Inspection.

Inspectors who visited the county last year say, in their report released just before Christmas that the county council is aware of the problem in Fenland.

It notes the county is planning to "prioritise the strategy to provide a sharper focus in those areas of greatest needs".

Fenland was also singled out for the number of youngsters not in either education, employment or training (NEET).

Inspectors noted the problems in Fenland had been identified and improvements put in place but it was too early to measure or identify impact.

Overall the council is said to performing reasonably well in its provision of social services and education for young people, although inspectors noted that referrals of young people to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services have been hampered by staff shortages.

Improvements were needed, they concluded, in addressing the mental health needs of children and young people with learning disabilities.

The report noted the percentage of young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities was high but was less positive for those young people leaving care at 19.

Inspectors also noted that: Improvements are needed to find long-term foster placements for some children; Criminal Records Bureau vetting in some children's homes needs improving; the county council had not improved fast enough in other areas, notably the high number of children in need referrals; the county has exceeded its target of 85 per cent access to pre-school provision for three year-olds and had achieved 99 per cent in 2004/5; under-achievement for minority ethnic groups is of concern.

Ofsted inspectors said the county merited only an 'adequate' rating for social care services for young people but deserved the higher 'very good' rating for education services.

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