Esther Rantzen Tells Heart Birmingham Children's Services Must Get Better

TV presenter Esther Rantzen's told Heart morale has to get better for social workers in Birmingham, or children will continue to be failed.

The Childline founder's been speaking to us after Birmingham City Council announced care for young people would be made independent.

It's after a series of high-profile child deaths on their watch and years of inspectors saying it's failing.

Esther's told Heart it can't stay this bad:

The department at Birmingham City Council has previously been labelled a "national disgrace'' by Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw.

Previous high-profile cases of child deaths in the Midlands city, including those of two-year-old Keanu Williams in 2011 and seven-year-old Khyra Ishaq in 2008, had led to the department and other agencies coming under fire.

Now the authority has announced a voluntary trust will run the department under a "new model'' which will put "social workers at its centre''.

The Government appointed Lord Norman Warner to drive a three-year improvement plan at the council's children's services in 2014, and the authority said "expected progress has been made''.

In a statement, the council said: "This is something we have been discussing for some time with the Department for Education and this is the next logical step on our improvement journey.''

A final decision on the plans will be taken by the cabinet at Birmingham City Council at a future date.

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