Action plan in place at children’s services
Under-fire department ‘will see dividends soon’
THE new chief of the county council’s underfire children services department is determined to turn things around.
David Johnston has taken over the role of managing director for children’s social care and learning at Bucks County Council.
The department failed its Ofsted inspection in August when more than 360 vulnerable children were not assigned to social workers.
Mr Johnston said: “I am excited for the job, I know that we can turn things around.
“People will begin to see the improvements in the relatively near future. The authority has done quite a few things already and we will start to see dividends.”
Mr Johnston has worked with three local authorities in the past, where he has turned around failing departments.
The county council has invested £9million into the department since Ofsted failed it. It has also developed an action plan
NEW CHIEF: David Johnston is hoping to turn the department around to improve things and of concern for the council has increased the increased the number of councillors. number of first response social workers. Mr Johnston said: “It is social workers from 13 to
Mr Johnston hopes for important for us to have 27. the department to be the right staff who can Mr Johnston said: “The completely rectified within understand this work. big thing for me is to build 18 months to two years. “There is a shortage of the reputation of the
He said: “The biggest qualified and experienced authority. It is important challenge is that the report social workers and we are that we work in said that some children doing everything that we conjunction with other were not safe. We need to can to recruit as many authorities, like police and make sure we have all the good social workers as we schools.” systems in place to make can. We are offering Mr Johnston is sure that children are kept training, support and confident that the as safe as possible.” financial incentives. We department is doing all it
The department suffers are very serious about not can to rectify things and from a difficulty in leaving any children there are now no referred retaining social workers, vulnerable.” children without a social which has been an issue Since August, worker.