Rotherham safeguarding chief brought into Wakefield Council

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A former safeguarding chief at Rotherham Council has been brought to Wakefield in a role to protect children and young people in the district.

Pam Allen was director of safeguarding in Rotherham from 2004 until 2009.

Ms Allen started as an interim service director for safeguarding at Wakefield Council in April, weeks after serious failings in the authority’s children’s services were revealed in a damning Ofsted report.

The post had been vacant since April last year.

The appointment of Ms Allen, who moved to the East Riding of Yorkshire Council as a director of children’s services after her time in Rotherham, followed a new corporate director for children and young people - Beate Wagner - being recruited in Wakefield in March.

Ms Wagner said: “The council is currently in the final stages of appointing to a new post of service director for children’s social care, which will have a significant role to play in the transformation of our service.

“Until then, we are pleased to have secured Pam Allen to provide interim support to the service given the pace of change required.

“If there had been any doubt over her ability to do the job to the very high standard we, and our residents demand, she would not have been employed.

“She brings with her significant knowledge and skills, which the authority will benefit from.”

After a visit to the authority in Feburary, education watchdog Ofsted said vulnerable children in the district were being put at risk.

In a letter, it said youngsters were not being safeguarded appropriately due to “significant weaknesses” in council services and that social workers, with high case loads, did not have the capacity to meet the needs of children and families.

The council’s chief executive Merran McRae said £1m had been allocated to implement an action plan of improvements and a further £3.5m had been invested into the children’s services annual budget.