Children's Services Improvement Update

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Improvement Update - 29 April 2019

Welcome to our latest update

We want to thank all our partners who are working with us to support our improvement journey. We know it’s very challenging, but we can already see improvements in parts of the service.

We want to continue to work with you so together so we can achieve everything we've set out in our improvement plan. By doing this we can to create the best conditions for good social work and be the best we can for Bradford district's children.

Ofsted Monitoring Visits

We’re preparing for our second Ofsted monitoring visit which has been scheduled for the 11 and 12 of June.

We’re building on the feedback that Oftsed provided from their first visit in March. Ofsted recognised that we are making positive progress in some areas, particularly those at our front door where we need to assess the risk to children. A report on this visit was submitted to the Council's Executive.

We know there is still much more to do including focusing our improvement plan on delivering the outcomes children need and making rapid improvements to the services we provide for homeless.

The visit in June will focus on Children in Need, Child Protection and Public Law Outline (PLO). Inspectors may also follow up on changes we have made to the way in which we support young people who present as homeless.  Unlike the visit that took place in March, the outcome of this visit will be published on the Ofsted website.

DfE visit

Before the Ofsted visit, colleagues from the Department for Education will visit us on 23 May. This will look at the progress we are making towards achieving good services for children and young people in Bradford.  The DfE advisers will be keen to meet front line social workers and managers as well as the Leader and Chief Executive. They will share their findings with the Secretary of State.

Staffing update

We have secured funding to employ a further project team from the second week in May alleviate pressure within the assessment service. The funding is in place for three months and will help us to stabilise the workloads across this service area.

We are in the process of recruiting for the post of Deputy Director of Social Care. The advert is now live and we hope to fill the post this summer.

Our new Strategic Director, Mark Douglas, will start on the 1st July but will be spending time with us before then as part of the handover arrangements.

Improvement Board

Our latest Improvement Board meeting took place just before the Easter break. There have been some very positive developments that will help improve what we do. 

We have worked with managers in children’s services to develop a ‘Vital Signs’ reporting process. This will provide headline information on ten key areas and will help us understand and interpret key trends in Children’s Social Care Services. It will also be an important way for the Improvement Board and for Children’s Overview and Scrutiny to understand how our service is performing. 

We were very grateful to our partner colleagues from health who also gave presentations on what they are doing to support health outcomes for Looked After Children, and on supporting children and young people with their emotional health and wellbeing. Collaborating with our partners on these issues is essential if we are to get the best outcomes for children and young people and make the improvements we need.


For partners who are involved in Prevention and Early Help services, the consultation on the proposed estates strategy ends on 7 May. The proposals will have a bearing on where these services are delivered from in future so if you have not done so yet, please take a moment to see what they involve and have your say.