Herefordshire Council has announced a new partnership to bring long term improvement to the area’s children’s services.
The partnership will see the council coming together with Leeds City Council, which has an ‘outstanding’ rating for its children’s services, and was formally launched this week at a special event. The event saw frontline children’s services staff meeting with colleagues from Leeds, in order to hear more about their experiences, how they work, and how the Herefordshire area can benefit from this.
Herefordshire Council’s Corporate Director for Children and Young People, Darryl Freeman, said:
“This is such an important partnership as we look to accelerate improvements in our services. The launch events this week allowed our frontline staff to hear directly from our colleagues from Leeds and their direct experience of turning around children’s services while also hearing more about the new ways [of] working which will be at the heart of our ongoing improvements.”
Improvements are being actioned following a High Court judgement from March 2021 that raised concerns about the stance of children’s social care services in Herefordshire. Following this, the council was issued with a non-statutory improvement notice that saw Gladys Rhodes White OBE being appointed as an advisor for a minimum of 12 months, up until the point where the Secretary of State for Education is satisfied that her advice is no longer required.
Councillor Ivan Powell, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, added:
“We are so pleased to now formally launch this partnership and bring our frontline staff together with the team from Leeds. This is a team which has been praised for their services and their practice and we look forward to working them to increase the pace of improvements here in Herefordshire.”
Director of the Leeds Relational Practice Centre, Saleem Tariq OBE, also said:
“We are very pleased to formally launch our improvement partnership with Herefordshire Children’s Services. We have worked with senior leaders and frontline staff as part of an initial shared review and this week we met over 150 frontline staff and discussed the proposed work with the service and partners. Staff and leaders have been hugely enthusiastic and determined about the prospects for working with Leeds colleagues to improve services and outcomes for children and families in Herefordshire.”
Partnering with Leeds City Council is a positive development, thanks to their strong track record of collaborating with an increasing number of local authorities, as they strive to improve their services.
Image credit: iStock