20th Nov, 2019

'Arms length' company plan to run Worcestershire children's services

Rob George 26th Mar, 2018

COUNTY Hall chiefs are to be asked to approve plans for a new council-owned company to take over the running of its troubled Children’s Social Care services at a cabinet meeting this coming Thursday, March 29.

Following the service’s inadequate Ofsted inspection last in January, Trevor Doughty was appointed by the Department for Education as the Commissioner for Children’s Services in Worcestershire to conduct a further review of services.

He recommended Worcestershire County Council chiefs devise a different approach to providing children’s social care services to ensure improvements were made.

Cabinet chiefs backed his proposals in September and in December a wholly-owned council company was suggested to deliver the service in the future.

Mr Doughty said: “The alternative way of delivering these services means there will be even more focus on improving services and keeping children and young people in Worcestershire safe from harm.

“This approach supports opportunities for more collaborative working and will drive improvement and efficiencies to make services better, more secure and effective in the future.

“Ofsted have recognised the progress Worcestershire has made and the continued improvement in the quality of services. The development of an alternative delivery model will provide a great platform on which to sustain improvement for children and young people in Worcestershire.”

If approved staff would transfer to the proposed new company on their current terms and conditions, including their current pension.

Councillor Andy Roberts, cabinet member for Children and Families, said: “We’ve taken advice from children, young people and partners and, as a result of a tremendous effort from staff, our services are moving in the right direction. The sole purpose of the new company will be to continue to improve services for children and young people in Worcestershire.”

If given the go-ahead and subject to final Ministerial approval, work would begin to set up the new company by April 1, 2019.

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