Ac­tion plan in place at chil­dren’s ser­vices

Un­der-fire depart­ment ‘will see div­i­dends soon’

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Laura Mowat laura.mowat@trin­i­tymir­

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.



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