The Cabinet Member for Social Care and Health Integration presented a report on the Children’s Improvement Programme, which had been developed in response to several emergent factors over the past 12 months, including the findings of an OFSTED inspection in February 2019 where children’s services was judged as ‘Requires Improvement’.
The Cabinet Member referred to the key aspects within the Improvement Plan and confirmed that in order to support its delivery, £1.095m in transformation funding would be required. Whilst the implementation of the Plan would require a draw down from the Council’s reserves, it would contribute to the mitigation and reduction of cost pressures in the provision of children’s services over time.
Cabinet Members asked whether the local NHS and Police were prepared to make a financial contribution to support the children’s services improvement agenda. The Cabinet Member for Social Care and Health Integration stated that when previously asked about such contributions, the organisations acknowledged that they had a key role to play but cited their own financial challenges in coming to the view that they would not be in a position to make significant contributions.
Cabinet Members expressed their confidence in the leadership of the service to deliver the Programme and noted that OFSTED had recognised that the service was already aware of what needed to improve, that the plans for doing so were sound and, in a number of cases, already making a difference.
Cabinet resolved to agree the Children’s Care and Support Improvement Programme at Appendix 1 of the report and note the inherent commitment to the set of standards and prerequisites as set out in section 3.3 of the report.