Children’s services in Croydon have been put under government control as a result of "significant deterioration" since 2012.

The Secretary of State has appointed Eleanor Brazil as Commissioner for Children’s Services in Croydon because of "widespread and serious failures" in the services provided to children and their families by Croydon Council. This has come after a damming report published by Ofsted today and will remain in force until it is revoked by the Secretary of State.

In the first inspection since 2012, inspectors said there has "been significant deterioration in the quality of service provision."

The work falls under children's services includes children in the care of the council, living in the likes of care homes or with foster parents.

The report said: "Inspectors identified a legacy of poor practice characterised by drift and delay in the provision of key services.

"Weak managerial oversight at all levels has not ensured that basic social work practice is of a good enough standard.

"Children do not receive robust and timely responses to ensure that risk is reduced and their needs are met.

"When children are missing or are at risk of sexual exploitation, poor recognition and response to these concerns is not reducing risk to them effectively. Too few children looked after who go missing are spoken to when they return, therefore the understanding of associated risks is weak."

A total of 21 recommendations were made by Ofsted.

Council said it "accepts the findings and is working with Ofsted to make the necessary changes."

Councillor and cabinet member for children, young people and learning Alisa Flemming said the care of young people was a priority.

"The care and safety of vulnerable children and young people is an absolute priority for this council and I will do whatever it takes to make sure that we are providing them with the high-quality services that they deserve," she said.

“We have some excellent social workers who do an incredibly difficult job against a backdrop of challenging circumstances here in Croydon, as well as a national shortfall in funding. I want to make sure that they are supported to do the very best they can for the children that need our help and protection."

Approximately 93,435 children and young people under the age of 18 years live in Croydon. This is 25 per cent of the total population in the area.