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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 November 2006, 10:58 GMT
Child care shows big improvement
Baby generic
Teenage pregnancy rates are still relatively high in Torbay
Children's and young people's services in Torbay have taken a big leap forward, according to inspectors.

In the past 18 months, the children's services department has gone from the lowest rating, of one star out of four, to the second highest.

Inspectors said Torbay provides a service that "consistently delivers above minimum requirements".

However, Torbay has been told to do more to tackle its high teenage pregnancy rates.

A joint assessment by the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) and the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) found the council was making "a good contribution to maintaining and improving key areas of children and young people's lives".

'Much to do'

The improvement follows a shake-up in child care services across England.

The Green Paper published in 2003 was in response to the death of eight-year-old Victoria Climbie in London in 2000 after prolonged abuse.

Margaret Dennison, strategic director for children's services in Torbay, welcomed the inspectors' report, but said there was "still much to do".

She said further improvements were needed to reduce truanting and tackle relatively high teenage pregnancy rates.

Torbay's improvement came as the CSCI and Ofsted reported an overall improvement in child care services in England, with 10 councils judged excellent and 76 judged good at serving children who use social services.

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