Children's Services monthly bulletin

Children's Services
John Gregg


Ofsted are now with us and inspecting our service.

It's been three years since the last inspection and we've come a long way. It's up to us to show Ofsted how we have improved and how the changes we have made are making a positive difference to the lives of children and young people in the city.

I know it can be unsettling to be under the spotlight but our focus as always remains on improving outcomes for children and young people. This is your opportunity to showcase your good work.

I am grateful for the hard work you do every day. Thank you.

 John Gregg, Director of Children's Services

Improving our practice

It's important we all take responsibility for improving our practice. Here are seven must-reads for everyone this month:

  • Read the guidance on Viability Assessments. It outlines what an assessment should look like, what social workers should consider and how to undertake international assessments
  • The neglect of children and young people is one of the most difficult areas within the childcare and protection field to identify, assess and intervene in. Find out what it can involve.
  • Check out the free tools and resources from Social Worker Toolbox
  • Authorisation of at distance placementsThe decision to place a child out of the area must be approved by the Nominated Officer, unless it is a Placement at a Distance, (i.e. outside the area of the local authority and not within the area of any adjoining local authority). In these cases the Director of Children's Services must give approval. Find out what is taken into account when making this decision.
  • If you have a Personal Education Plan (PEP) meeting you must update this on Protocol. You also must update details if a child you are working with changes schools.

Getting the most from home visits

Home visits are one of the most important aspects of safeguarding and child protection social work practice.

This article is a timely and helpful reminder for all practitioners who undertake home visits to children and young people.

We have procedures on visits to Looked After Children and young people. They can be accessed on Triax

Later in life

Later in life letters

The Adoption Team and Lee Pardy McLaughlin have produced a guide to writing later in life letters for children who are being adopted.

You can read the guide on Beacon.


News and updates

Unsung hero award

Work to combat CSE wins award

The Council and its partners have won a prestigious award for their work in tackling child sexual exploitation.

Well done to the Horizon Team and the Council’s Legal Services Team who scooped the Neighbourhood Champion prize at the NWG Unsung Hero Awards this week.

Find out more

recruitment fair

Jobs Fair success for Children's Services

A team from Children’s Services spoke to more than 300 prospective candidates for social work jobs at a hugely successful jobs fair last week.

Read more

Signs of safety

Signs of Safety

Last month more than 50 social workers and children and families first workers took part in their Signs of Safety training to help improve their practice.

We now have 69 practice leads across the service.

Feedback from the training was positive and you can hear what some people thought in this short video.

Thank you to everyone who took part and to Karen Moir and the Organisational Development Team for supporting and arranging the training.

Celebrating the work of our Family Drug and Alcohol Court

One of our social workers is helping to shine a national and regional spotlight on the work of the Family Drug and Alcohol Court service.

Tom Borro, Senior Practitioner in our Family Drug and Alcohol Court Service has recently written an article for Family Law about the service and how it is making a difference to families.

You can read the article online now.

Care Leavers advising Government

Action for Children

Two of our care leaver apprentices have been leading on work to create an app to help children and young people who are at risk from radicalisation or extremism.

Olivia and Shiane have been working with the Voices of Care Council, the Youth Council, the Home Office and Action for Children to develop the app.

The Home Office and Action for Children will return to Coventry in April to test out the app with young people and get their views on its effectiveness.

LCS and EHM: Notification of leavers and account suspensions

You must let the EHM or LCS helpdesks know if someone leaves. 

Accounts must be closed when any team members leave to ensure we keep information secure. 

Managers are accountable for confirming when members of their teams leave. 

You must tell the helpdesks when a member of staff is due to be away for a period of time, for example on maternity leave. Their account can be suspended and restarted when they return. 

If you have any questions or queries about this please contact the helpdesk teams via or

Transformation Programme updates

Work is progressing on each of the projects in our work to transform Children's Services and put children and their outcomes at the heart of what we do. 

Visit our update page to find out what's been happening this month. 

If you have questions or comments e-mail

    Putting yourself in our shoes

    Young people's perspectives on professional support after sexual violence

    Thursday 27 April, 12.30pm to 2.30pm, University of Birmingham

    This workshop is part of the new Social Work Teaching Partnership we have with Birmingham University. Please discuss and agree your attendance with your line manager before booking a free place. 

    Find out more about this workshop.

    In case you missed it...

    Get in touch

    Email with your updates, comments or suggestions.

    March 2017

    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

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