Children's Services Improvement Update

View this email in your browser

Children's Services Improvement Update  December 2018 


Welcome to our first Improvement Update. I want to send these out to you on a regular basis to let you know how our improvement journey is going, what changes we are making, and how what we are doing together is having an impact and delivering better services for children.

I do also want to wish all our partners and those who support us in working with children a Merry Christmas, and I hope you have a restful time over the Christmas and New Year break.

Councillor Adrian Farley
Portfolio Holder for Children and Families


Cllr Farley

Children at the heart of all we do

Children at the heart of all we do

Bradford’s children need to be at the centre of our improvement journey. They are the reason we come to work, and it is the quality of their experience that needs to be at the centre of what we do. Quite rightly we have put this at the core of our Statement of Action.

We will be working with community groups who are currently working with young people to carry out engagement work to see how we can be better at including their voice to shape the services we provide.

We are also re-launching Viewpoint to make sure we engage as many young people as we can and we are developing a social worker led team for homeless 16 and 17 year olds.

Our Statement of Action

Our Statement of Action, which outlines how we will deliver the improvements needed, is taking shape. The plan focuses on six key themes with the lived experience and voice of children at its heart. Ofsted have seen an early draft and have given us some very constructive feedback. A draft of the statement will be going to the meeting of the Council’s Executive on 8 January 2019, and the report to Executive will be in the public domain from the 21 December and will be available on the Council’s website.

We will continue to develop the Statement of Action with input from staff and most importantly from young people. The final version of the statement will go to Ofsted on 4 February.

Other progress so far

A lot of work is happening to lay the foundations that are necessary for improvement to take place.

We have established a multi-agency improvement board with representation from the police, health, the voluntary community, the DfE and LGA. From January, this will be chaired independently, and we will be looking to strengthen the board with input from staff and young people.

We have taken immediate steps to improve working within the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub with a strategic group set up to oversee improvements. We have reviewed how the MASH operates to take account of what Ofsted said, with a new referral form and contact centre response, and we will be moving the Early Help Gateway into the MASH.

We have increased our audit capacity and completed an audit of 1,700 cases and have also reviewed all performance data.

A lot of work to recruit additional social workers was done over the summer before the Ofsted inspection and this work continues. At Executive earlier this month a proposal for additional resource of £2.46m was approved. This will now form part of the budget consultation. If agreed, the additional resource would be used for workforce development and the recruitment of additional social workers.

We have carried out a series of staff engagement sessions to get feedback from staff on what is working well and what we can improve on and we will organising more of these in the New Year.