Support of all needed to help children

By on 09/11/2009 in Blog

Colin TuckerHead of Children’s Social Care Colin Tucker gives his latest update from the frontline of improving Safeguarding Children.

Last week was interesting and challenging and demonstrated to me we have to make progress at all levels in a context that is extremely difficult for all our staff. 

I completed interviews for the new Assistant Director posts, met with national child protection protestors; addressed police commanders as a group, progressed with Heads of Service a further workshop looking at how they can work together more effectively; watched a preview of the Inside Out Programme which goes out tonight in which I speak three times; mentored a Team Manager from within the Service and told my Directorate Leadership Team colleagues that I do not think our partnership working is as effective as it ought to be. 

I am left thinking that the central message in all this activity is the same – we have some excellent staff who have been somewhat abandoned to safeguard children at the front-line and we need the support and understanding of all our colleagues in other agencies and the media if we are to genuinely recover. 

The budget.  Well!  We are beginning to map out a future shape of demand for our services and translating this into cost and budget implications.  Staff within data have been brilliant in producing the information on which to base the judgements and this includes analysis of activity like the rate of entry into the care system, rate of progress through to permanence and the kind of placement our children have previously moved into. 

The impact into reception into care panel is extraordinary in that it has reduced legal proceedings and entries into care dramatically, but it is just too early to extrapolate trends after only two months. 

Also a good debate had about the Brighter Futures savings trajectory and how we can’t count savings twice.  Reminds me that I must support opportunities for discussing Brighter Futures with our staff because at the moment many of us don’t fully understand and support the pilot projects. 

I thought it was a good idea to set-up a regular looked after children seminar on a three-monthly basis when with a group of colleagues we can regularly analyse the service trend data which will give us better informed decisions.

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