Children's Services monthly bulletin

John Gregg


There is a lot going on, which is why I make sure that there is a monthly bulletin for Children’s Services.  

Over the next few months there will be further changes as part of the improvements we need to make. I will make sure that these are communicated in this bulletin.  

This month’s edition showcases some of our recent developments.  We are making good progress in reducing the over reliance on agency staff and improving the stability of our workforce.  Regional developments concerning the Frontline programme will further strengthen this.  

It is important that we continue to celebrate our successes each month and I was very pleased to receive such positive feedback from the Department for Education about the development of our regional adoption agency.

John Gregg, Director of Children's Services

News and updates

Council House

Council proposals to target support for most vulnerable

The Council has unveiled a series of proposals aimed at supporting services for the city’s most vulnerable residents against a backdrop of continuing massive government spending cuts.

The proposals, covering libraries, children’s centres, nurseries and youth services across the city, could see some children’s centres become family hubs, providing services to children and young people up to the age of 19 in key areas of Coventry. Read more..

A new plan for children and young people

Coventry has a new Children and Young People Plan which sets out how organisations in Coventry will work together to provide the best support possible for children, young people and their families.

The new plan builds on the successes achieved in the previous version it replaces. The revisions also recognise the changing landscape of the public sector and in Coventry as a whole.

There are four key priorities within the new plan:

  • Early help
  • Be healthy
  • Stay safe
  • Education, training and employment



Showcasing our work

Our work with the regional adoption agency is being recognised nationally.

The Department for Education has chosen our regional adoption agency, where we work with Solihull and Warwickshire Councils and voluntary agencies, as a demonstration site for others to visit and learn from what we are doing. 

This means that we'll be able to showcase our partnership work to other regional adoption agencies and we will receive extra funding.  

Growing our own social workers

As part of our ‘Grow Our Own’ social workers initiative, we’re looking at becoming a Frontline partner authority. 

Frontline is a new approach, funded by the Department for Education, to help develop and provide training for the next generation of social workers.

By working with Frontline we’ll be able to recruit students and be supported by Frontline tutors who will work with the graduates while in practice, observing and grading their work. The graduates will also benefit from courses to develop their skills in helping families to change through using systemic family therapy, motivational interviewing and the application of social learning theory.

You can find out more about Frontline initiative at

Youth Offending Services inspection

Last week, the Youth Offending Service was inspected by a team from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Probation. 

During the three day inspection the inspectors looked at cases to see how well our work contributes to reducing re-offending, protecting the public and the young person, and ensuring that the sentence is served.  

The inspection provided an opportunity to celebrate what’s being done well, as well as allowing us to identify key areas for improvement. 

The outcome of the inspection will influence whether the YOS  is selected for a Full Joint Inspection (FJI)  which is a much wider joint inspection involving a broad range of partners, stakeholders, and service users.  

Signs of safety

Keep up to date with Signs of Safety

More than 240 staff have now been trained on Signs of Safety.

You can keep up to date with all the latest information about Signs of Safety, key contacts and dates for your diary at

Send us your examples of how you're using Signs of Safety techniques in your work and how it's making a difference to children's and families' lives. Just e-mail

Mental health and well being conference

Coventry Safeguarding Children Board is hosting a conference on achieving mental health and wellbeing for children and young people at the Welcome Centre on 13 July.

You'll be able to hear from young people about their experiences, understand the reasons for the rise in mental ill health and learn how to promote resilience for young people

You can book a place by visiting and selecting

PSAF027 Children and Young People’s Mental Health – 13 July 9am-4.30pm. 

It costs £35 and lunch will be provided. 

In case you missed it...

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.

July 2016 


Our performance - June 2016

Average caseloads:

- RAS - 14

- Neighbourhoods - between 20-22
- IRO -  65

Children and Family First assessment timeliness 


Child Protection Plans



33.6% of all CAFs were held by either Health or schools against a target of 40%

Number of Looked After Children



At the end of June 35 children had been placed for adoption, 9 adopted and 18 applications lodged with court

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.

Useful links