By ANISAH ARIF
A report outlining the steps being taken to lay the foundations for a rapid improvement in Children’s Services is being considered by Bradford Council’s Executive on 8 January.
The report also highlights action that has been taken so far to make improvements since the inspection of Children’s services by Ofsted in September 2018.
A Statement of Action has been drawn up that outlines the key actions that the Council plans to take to make the changes identified by Ofsted.
The statement focuses on six themes:
- The lived experience and voice of children
- Improving the quality of our social work practice
- How the Council works with other agencies to support services
- Improving how children are first seen at our Front Door
- Improving management oversight and quality assurance
- Making sure there are enough social workers
The Council will now work with partner agencies, staff, and most importantly young people to finalise the statement before it is submitted to the Department for Education for approval in February 2019.
Delivery of the Statement of Action will be overseen by a multi-agency improvement board. This has already been established with representation from the Department for Education, the police, health and the voluntary community. From January, the board will be chaired independently, and will also have input from staff and young people.
Rapid action has already been taken in some key areas. Immediate steps were taken to improve working within the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub with a strategic group set up to oversee improvements.
Work to recruit additional social workers was done over the summer before the Ofsted inspection and this work continues.
Work will take place with community groups who are currently working with young people to carry out engagement work to see how the Council can be better at including their voice to shape the services we provide.
At December’s Executive, a proposal for additional resource of £2.46m was approved. This will now form part of the budget consultation. If agreed, the additional resource would be used for workforce development and the recruitment of additional social workers.
Councillor Adrian Farley, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, said: “We are taking rapid and sustainable action to put a strong plan in place that puts children at the heart of all that we do. The input of our partners and young people will be crucial to its success as we want it to reflect the lives of children.
“The plan will be subject to scrutiny by the Department for Education and Ofsted, and we welcome that. Together with the proposed additional investment, the plan will provide us with a strong foundation to improve what we do and provide services that children