Statement regarding executive director of children’s services
Bernie McNally was appointed as Executive Director for Childrenâ€™s Services and was due to commence formally in post at the beginning of November.
During the introductory period in October which was arranged in preparation for this, Bernie decided that she was no longer interested in taking up the role, and by mutual agreement will not be proceeding with the appointment.
This news is disappointing as we thought we had secured an excellent candidate from the first class group of people who applied for the post.
Our priority however is to ensure that children are made safe through what we are doing and this is a big collective challenge.Â Itâ€™s important to remind ourselves that our most serious staffing challenge is to get the right number of social workers doing great social work with the best team management around them.
The council remains very clear about the priority of having stable and long term leadership for children’s social care:
– throughout Bernie’s induction period the interim leadership previously in place over the summer will continue until a permanent appointment is made
– we are looking to bolster the interim leadership and have successfully recruited Eleni IoannidesÂ to join us for an interim period. Eleni is a very experienced Director of Children’s Services / social care director and we are delighted that she will be bringing the approach and focus we need at this time. Eleni will be starting from 28th October and is very much looking forward to the role
– we have resumed discussions with the agency that supported the recent Executive Director recruitment and are looking to make early decisions on the next steps we will take with the permanent post