Page last updated at 08:36 GMT, Wednesday, 24 June 2009 09:36 UK

City's child services 'improving'

Child and mother
Inspectors said the council's child care was improving

Efforts to improve the social work service for children in Aberdeen have made encouraging progress, inspectors have said.

It was earlier claimed that children living at risk of abuse or neglect were not being given adequate protection.

The HM Inspector of Education had inspectors in Aberdeen throughout April to follow up an earlier report.

It concluded that the social work service had been successful in laying effective foundations for improvement.

The report has been welcomed by the north east of Scotland child protection committee (NESCPC).

NESCPC chairman, Chief Constable Colin McKerracher, said: "I am pleased this report recognises all the good work and improvements made in Aberdeen.

"Agencies and their staff have worked closely together and this helps us all to strengthen services for children across the city."

New director

Aberdeen City Council's chief executive Sue Bruce added: "It is very encouraging to see the progress made to date."

Aberdeen's new director of social care and wellbeing, Fred McBride, was the head of children's services in Dundee at the time of toddler Brandon Muir's killing.

The case sparked a review of child protection services as it emerged that social workers had been alerted to concerns over Brandon.

Robert Cunningham was jailed for 10 years after being found guilty of 23-month-old Brandon's culpable homicide.

The HMIE issued a report on Dundee's children's services on Tuesday saying child protection there was unsatisfactory.

First Minister Alex Salmond had branded the earlier critical report into child protection in Aberdeen "unacceptable".

Inspectors said they were particularly concerned about the numbers of children living in high-risk situations with drug-abusing parents.

Children's Minister Adam Ingram contacted the city council to ensure urgent action was being taken.

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