Two options for a voluntary children’s trust are proposed for further development, if approved by the city council’s cabinet.
This follows the council’s decision in May that a children’s trust offers significant opportunities to improve children’s services.
Further to an appraisal of 19 possible options, a wholly-owned company and an employee-owned mutual have emerged as the best options to secure sustainable improvement. If approved by cabinet, design work will be done on both options to identify the preferred model, as well as looking at the potential of combining the best elements of both into one model.
Councillor Brigid Jones, cabinet member for children, families and schools, said: “We want all our children to have a fantastic childhood and ultimately it is the outcomes that are important, not the process.
“All options have been carefully examined and two have emerged that can accommodate the specified scope of the trust – what services are part of the trust and what stay within the council – whilst being flexible enough to adapt to future changes.
“These options also have the potential to become a community interest company (CIC). This is important, as holding CIC status is a clear statement that the organisation exists to deliver real and tangible benefits to the community it serves, rather than for private gain.
“There is still a lot of work to be done and we will continue to engage with staff and partners to ensure we have the model that is best suited to sustainable improvement. So as we move forward we must always keep in mind that this is ultimately about creating the best conditions to allow our best social workers to do great work with our children and families.”
If approved by cabinet, a lot of detailed design work would need to be carried out and if the options were viable and delivered better services, the next likely step would be to move towards a shadow trust arrangement.