The Welsh government has been accused of ‘ducking from scrutiny’ after First Minister Mark Drakeford has once again refused to back in independent inquiry into children’s services in Wales.

His decision has prompted an angry response from Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats and former child protection social worker Jane Dodds.

“Both Scotland and England are carrying out independent inquiries into the state of children’s social services in their jurisdiction, and there is no reason for Wales not do the same,” she said.

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“Since 2012 there has been a massive 78 per cent increase in the number of children who are taken into care while the last available figures show that no fewer than 2,820 Welsh children were subject to a child protection plan.”

And the forecast looks bleak with more Welsh children expected to enter into care in the coming months and years than the children in England and Wales.

“Wales has seen a number of alarming incidents in recent years and we know that the pandemic has made working with those children and their families all the more difficult,” continued Jane Dodds.

“Social workers, their managers, family support workers and colleagues in the health and education systems are working so hard to protect these children.

"But more is needed to help social workers do their job. Wales needs a Chief Social Worker for Children, just as they have in England.

“It is extremely disappointing to hear from the First Minister that the Welsh Labour Government will once again be ducking from scrutiny and refusing to hold an independent inquiry.”

Ms Dodds’ request has been backed by social work expert Professor Donald Forrester of Cardiff University.

But Mark Drakeford has said it would be wrong to move ‘to a general response on the back of a single incident’.

After being requested to carry out an independent review following the tragic death of Logan Mwangi, Mr Drakeford said, "It’s never right to rush into something very general from what is a very specific state of circumstances.”