Let's hear it from the kids!

By on 04/12/2009 in Blog

Colin TuckerColin Tucker, Birmingham’s head of Children’s Social Care, talks about his work as he goes about moving the service out of its Notice to Improve.

So we know ourselves well and what we now need to do to continue improving.  More excellent Ofsted feedback on LACES (Looked After Children’s Education Services) and preparation going well for the fostering inspection in January.

Mindful that the real issues are about the impact we are having on vulnerable children but it remains so important for everyone around here that we get out of special measures.

So much press interest continues and I often reflect on the risks this can bring, but I have to say staff at the front line are responding magnificently. BBC national news went to Erdington on Monday and went out on a visit with a Social Worker and this must surely help clarify what our staff do and build a more positive level of awareness across the city.

There is a level of transparency we are seeking to establish and it is important that we now try and move the agenda on to the improvements we have made and draw a line under a difficult past.
Recent discussions with some of the young people on our children in care council have been interesting. I am going to support them and am putting together a work programme that will make a real difference.

So this might include the young people being more involved in interviewing staff, training staff and even shaping some of our fostering and residential care rules.

They are keen to be involved in safeguarding developments around the internet and facebook in particular and it would be good for them to take a lead on this if for no other reason than many staff of my age don’t understand the internet as well as they do!

I found their whole perspective on the potential of facebook and other internet sites so much more positive than is generally reported.

Give them their head I say and it would be so helpful to us if the young people played a bigger part in our recovery. Still, though, the case that some staff will feel threatened by young people being so involved and challenging how we do things.

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