Children's Services monthly bulletin

John Gregg


I hope you've all had a restful and enjoyable Easter.

This month we welcomed Andrew Brunt to our team. Andrew is the interim Principal Social Worker following Vicky White's retirement. He will be working with all of us to improve our practice and make sure we're delivering the best we can for children and their families. 

Andrew has produced a helpful bulletin on some of the latest standards and consultations around our practice that we all need to be aware of. I'd urge you all to read this.

Thanks as ever for your continued hard work.

John Gregg, Director of Children's Services


News and updates


Feedback from the Department of Education's visit

The Minister's letter following the DfE visit acknowledged that there have been improvements since Ofsted inspected us two years ago, particularly arrangements in MASH and the referral and assessment service. But they felt there is inconsistent progress in some areas - a concern was the high and rising rate of re-referrals to social care. 

You can read Cllr Ruane's full statement to Council about the visit on Beacon. 

The pledge

Support The Pledge

Footballers, councillors and taxi drivers are among hundreds of people who have been getting behind a city-wide pledge to help spot and report the signs of child sexual exploitation.

You can show your support online at Please share with the organisations you work with so they can show their support and help spot and report the signs of CSE. Read Sue Whitmore's blog about the pledge 

easter egg

Easter party puts smiles on looked after children’s faces

More than 100 looked after children enjoyed an Easter party at the Welcome Centre this week. And thanks to you and the generosity of the GMB Union, they all received an Easter egg.

Children’s Champion Shelia Bates, who helped organise the party along with the Participation Team, said:

“Thank you to everyone who donated an egg and special thanks to GMB who gave us 150 eggs to give out.

“The children really enjoyed themselves and were delighted to receive an egg from the Easter Bunny.

“It was a fantastic event and a great way to celebrate and say thank you for the amazing work our foster carers do throughout the year.”

As well as receiving a chocolate egg the children, all aged under 11, enjoyed face painting, softplay, henna and a bouncy castle.  The children also made their own Easter bonnets and took part in a parade to show off their brilliant creations.


News in brief


Next steps

Children’s Services have undertaken significant steps to improve over the last two years. The service is working at pace to embed and sustain the changes already made. The focus continues to be: 

  • Implementing the workforce strategy to stabilise the workforce and reduce the reliance on agency workers 
  • Improving the quality and consistency of practice by continuing to progress through auditing and quality assurance, ensuring that learning is being fed back in to practice. 
  • Ensuring that there is a greater availability of placement choice for all children by implementing the placement sufficiency strategy
  • Recruiting more foster carers and specialist carers to increase capacity to avoid residential placements for more complex children and young people
  • Ensure that the best use is made of the available resource/budget to maximise the impact on children’s lives.

Get in touch

Email with your updates, comments or suggestions.

April 2016 


Our performance - Feb 2015

Average caseloads:

- RAS - 28

- Neighbourhoods - between 17-20
- IRO - down to 65

Contacts to MASH 

1320 - of these 40%(528) were referred to social care

Child Protection Plans



31% of all CAFs were held by either Health or schools against a target of 40%

Number of Looked After Children



43 children have been adopted and 33 placed

Children's Services training

*New updates*

Children's Services Learning and Development Portfolio

The Children’s Services Training Portfolio is available on Beacon so that the service can view the training offer and how to book onto the sessions available.
Access the portfolio

don't gamble

Don't Gamble with Data

Have you completed your mandatory 'Don't Gamble with Data' training yet? It's vital that you do. Find out how to complete the short e-learning course.