Children's Services monthly bulletin

Children's Services
John Gregg


There's a great deal of work going on across the service to look at how we can keep improving what we do and get the best for local children.

You can read about some great examples this month which show how our work is making a difference to the lives of looked after children. Tell us about your own examples of good work You can drop me or communications a line or even make a short video on your phone about your work.

We're preparing for our monitoring visit from Ofsted in November and reviewing the quality of our case files. I've made a one minute video to explain a bit more about the visit. 

Thanks as ever for all you're doing.

John Gregg, Director of Children's Services

News and updates

Foster for Coventry

New fostering service launched

An innovative new fostering service to support children with complex needs started last month. 

We’re working with St Christopher’s, a voluntary organisation, to deliver a new service which will provide eight placements at a time for children who are not suitable for mainstream fostering and who would otherwise have been placed in residential care. 


Moving on up

Record numbers of care leavers are heading off to university this month.

Thanks to the support and encouragement from teams across Children’s Services - including Route 21, LACES and Participation - 25 care leavers are now at university.

They are studying a range of courses including law and airport management. And some of our recent graduates are training to become teachers, accountants and social workers.  


Nicholas Jeffreys

Coventry social workers make top shortlist

Congratulations to the Horizon team and Nicholas Jeffreys who have been shortlisted in the prestigious social worker of the year awards. 

Horizon has been shortlisted in the team of the year award and Nicholas is up for newly qualified social worker of the year.

Jenny Molloy from award sponsor the British Association of Social Workers, said: “This award recognises some of the best work in children’s social care and someone who consistently makes a positive difference to the lives of the children and families they support. To reach the finals is an outstanding achievement and something to be very proud of.” 

The winners will be announced at an ceremony in London on 25 November.

Good luck everyone!

CSE Team

Apprenticeship success for looked after children

Looked after children are getting new skills and experiences thanks to apprenticeships at the Council.

Four young people are working as council apprentices in business admin, horticulture, job coaching and as a health and physical activity leader. Two more are due to start this month.

Read more... 

Signs of safety

Signs of Safety

See how teams in Coventry are using Signs of Safety in their work.

New resources have been added to the Signs of Safety page including a video from the recent Signs of Safety gathering in Norwich.

If you have some examples of your work you'd like to share, just e-mail

takeover challenge

Get involved in 11 Million Takeover Day 

On 18 November children and young people up and down the country will be taking part in the 11 Million Takeover day. 

The day puts children and young people in decision-making positions and encourages organisations and businesses to hear their views. Children gain an insight into the adult world and organisations benefit from a fresh perspective about their work.

Got an idea or want your service to be involved? Contact Shelia Bates, Children's Champion, on 024 7683 1432. 

Keep up to date with our procedures

The Coventry Children’s Social Care Procedures Manual has now been published -  Make sure you keep up to date.

The updated improvement plan is now available on our website.


Have you renewed your HCPC registration?

Social Work HCPC registration renewal opens on the 1 September 2016 and closes on the 30 November 2016. 

We've held a number of briefings to help prepare social workers for the renewal, facilitated by the Adults Principal Social Worker Andrew Errington. 

If you are chosen for HCPC CPD audit, please contact as you will be offered support in submission of your CPD profile

Christmas at St Marys Guildhall

Christmas gift appeal for Looked After Children

The annual Christmas party for looked after children is currently being organised, and the team are looking for your help.

The party is for children who are looked after aged 12 and under. Father Christmas attends the party and provides presents for all the children. However he still needs some more presents and he suggests we ask you kind people of Coventry City Council for donations.

Find out how you can donate

Connecting Communities

Two staff briefing sessions are being held to explain outline proposals for family hubs and libraries.

The sessions will offer the opportunity for staff to hear more about the proposals and to share views and ideas about how they are developed. Staff are encouraged to attend.

Details of the sessions are:

24 October 2016 1pm - 2pm (Diamond Room 1 & 2)

16 November 2016 12noon - 1pm (Dame Ellen Terry Suite)

Book your place.

Read more about the proposals on Beacon

Legal Services video

Taking the mystery out of court proceedings

Legal Services have produced a series of videos aimed at helping children’s social workers find out more about court proceedings. 

The short films star retired family Judge Donald Hamilton who talks with Julie Newman about the practicalities and processes involved when social workers have to appear in Family Court for care proceedings. 

Information Management across Children’s Services

Last month we briefed about the improvements we’re planning to make to the use of Protocol to enable us to reduce our reliance on paper based processes. On the 19 September  a pilot in the North West Cluster and the Referral and Assessment Service started.  The pilot included stopping the creation of new orange paper case files across the whole of Children’s Services. All new cases will now no longer have a paper file.

The pilot is going well and will be reviewed in the coming weeks. A rollout of the new ways of working will then be planned for the rest of Children’s Services. Service Managers from across services are already engaged in discussions about how the changes can be embedded in their areas.

In the meantime if you have any questions please contact Marc Greenwood x4128. 

Learning to be independent

Young people are being given the chance to find out what it’s like to live on their own at special workshops with Route 21 and St Basil’s.

Twenty five young people have already found out what’s involved in living on their own and what they need to plan and prepare for. From budgeting and paying bills to planning meals and cooking and cleaning, the workshops also help identify any extra support that might be needed.

Find out more about the workshops 


St Basil's Sleepout

The Coventry Horizon Team helped supported a number of young people in the Youth Participation Group by ‘sleeping out’ in the Cathedral to raise money for St Basil’s Charity.

A sleep-out is a sponsored challenged to “rough it” for the night to remind people of the importance of preventing homelessness.

The Coventry Horizon Team work closely with partners to prevent the issues that some of Coventry’s young people face, including homelessness, young people going missing and child sexual exploitation.

Read more... 

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.

October 2016 


Our performance - September 2016

Average caseloads:
- RAS - 11
- Neighbourhoods - between 18-20
- IRO  (CP) -  79
- IRO (LAC) - 67
-CDT – 20
-LAC – 19
-R21 - 20

Children and Family First assessment timeliness 


Child Protection Plans



29.5% of all CAFs were held by either Health or schools against a target of 40%


Number of Looked After Children



At the end of September,

25 adoptions to date and 26 children placed so far and further 6 will be placed over the next few weeks


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

Children’s Portfolio 2016 – 17

Foster Care 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
British Association of Social Workers
Research in Practice
Community Care
Family Law Week
Health and Care Professions Council