Improvement Plan aims to re-set the future of Herefordshire’s children’s services

Details of a far-reaching plan to transform the future of children’s services across Herefordshire has been published.

The draft Children’s Services Strategic Improvement Plan sets out how the council will deliver high-quality services for the county’s children and young people and place them at the heart of decision-making processes.
It comes after the council was issued with a non-statutory improvement notice for its children’s social care service by the Department for Education in May 2021, following a High Court judgment which raised significant concerns about the service.

The plan aims to rebuild trust and ensure that we provide compassionate and effective children’s services that last into the future.  It includes detailed actions to be taken to reach each goal, including reviews of staffing levels and current working practices and how the council will work with its partners to introduce the improvements.

A second and third phase of work will then ensure that the improvements are firmly cemented into the council’s structure and that prevention and early intervention become key principles of a system which has children at the heart of it and delivers consistently good outcomes for children and families in Herefordshire.

£5.2million has been made available from the government to fund a raft of changes to comprehensively improve the service.

Herefordshire Council’s new Chief Executive, Paul Walker, will lead the development and delivery of improvements across children’s services.

In addition to Paul Walker’s appointment, other changes in senior roles has seen Councillor Diana Toynbee take up the position of Cabinet Member for Children’s and Family Services, and Young People’s Attainment and Darryl Freeman appointed as the Interim Director for Children and Families. Darryl is working closely with the Department for Education appointed Improvement Advisor, Gladys Rhodes White OBE, who chairs the Improvement Board that oversees the improvement process as set out in the plan.

The plan will be presented at the Cabinet meeting on Thursday 28 October for their endorsement.

The Children’s Services Strategic Improvement Plan is available to view on our website.

Published: 21st October 2021