Birmingham City Council leader Mike Whitby has welcomed recognition by the Government that it is on-track to meet improvement targets for safeguarding children.
A letter sent to Cllr Whitby by Dawn Primarolo, Minister of State for Children, Young People and Families, praises the priority placed by the Council’s political and corporate leadership on improving the service.
Ms Primarolo said “good progress” has been made and added there was now evidence of a “cultural shift” within children’s social care.
The letter from the Minister highlights the “hard work” put in by front-line children’s social care teams which is beginning to pay off with improvements in areas such as the time taking to complete initial assessments.
Birmingham City Council’s willingness to work collaboratively with outside agencies including the Department for Children, Schools and Families, was also praised.
Ms Primarolo also indicated that the Government would consider providing additional funding to the Council for the remaining six months of the year’s Notice to Improve period.
Cllr Whitby said: “It is heartening to receive the Minister’s recognition of the progress we have made in the last six months and our continued commitment to improve.
“The safety and wellbeing of our children is a top priority and we are determined to do whatever it takes to achieve that goal.
“There is a lot of hard work being done behind the scenes to address the problems that have been highlighted. We know there is more to be done but I believe we are now well on the road to improvement.”
Cllr Les Lawrence, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families, added: “I welcome the Minister’s acknowledgement of our progress and we are pulling out all the stops to ensure that we hit our targets in all areas.
“We have set our sights on delivering a gold standard service for the people of Birmingham and are putting in place arrangements that will deliver this.
“I am delighted the Minister has offered to contribute financially towards the cost of making further improvements between now and the end of the notice period in February.”