Extra funds ploughed into children’s service
Council spends another £1.64m on improvements
BUCKS County Council is set to release a further £1.64million for its ‘robust’ children’s service improvement plan.
Children’s services received an ‘inadequate’ rating from Ofsted in the summer and the department now needs to submit an improvement plan. The money is on top of £4.8m from the council’s reserves and the £1m from its contingency funds.
Mike Appleyard, the acting cabinet member for children’s services, said: “The whole council is working hard for us to achieve a good status [in Ofsted] as soon as we can, it is very important to me that we put in a sustainable plan. We want to get it right.”
The previous cabinet member for children’s services Angela Macpherson resigned from her position due to ‘personal reasons’.
The plan has drafted, discussed been and improved several times by the councillors.
Leader of the council Martin Tett said: “It is to the credit of this county council that we are making sure that it is a good, robust improvement plan.”
The council also said it is trying to recruit and retain experienced social workers.
Mr Tett added: “There is a national shortage of experienced social workers and the government has a responsibility to address it.”
David Johnston, council officer for the children and family service, said: “A suitable workforce is a key issue. We are working with other local authorities to see what they have done to stabilise their workforce.”
The council is also looking to recruit experienced social workers from overseas.
The improvement plan, agreed at a cabinet meeting earlier this year, included improving leadership, improving the quality of social work practice and improving the strength of the workforce.