South Gloucestershire Council Children’s Social Care staff have received formal recognition of the improvements they have made to services over recent years, with the lifting of a formal Improvement Notice.
The Department for Education (DfE) imposed the intervention in 2021 and in their letter to formally lift it, they described the pace of improvement over the last 12 months as “encouraging” and noted the focus of delivering sustainable improvements across Children’s Services as being “particularly noteworthy”.
Whilst the council still has work to do to ensure that all children and families get the right support at the right time, the lifting of the Improvement Notice gives confidence and reassurance that improvements are on the right track.
The council must now continue to focus on and invest in the areas of children’s social care where further improvements are required.
Executive Director of the Department for People, Chris Sivers, said: “This is really encouraging news and marks significant efforts to improve services for children and families in our area. For this, I want to say thank you to every one of our staff for their hard work. Change and improvement doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and support at every level, and they should all feel proud of their contribution.”
South Gloucestershire Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for Children’s Services, Councillor Maggie Tyrell, said: “This represents a real team effort, from teams across the Council who have supported our Children’s Services. In particular, well done to all our staff involved in the programme of change within Children’s Services. This is a huge step forward and is testament to the commitment and hard work of all staff, both within the department and across the Council.
“Of course this does not mark the end of the improvement journey, there is more to do, but this is an important recognition of the progress made. It is also an encouragement that if we continue to give this work the level of focus and commitment we are, that we will see further improvements, which will benefit the children and their families in South Gloucestershire who most need our help.”
The council’s Children’s Services teams are responsible for supporting and protecting vulnerable children, by providing additional help and support to young people in need and their families, and ensuring that children and young people are kept safe if they are considered to be at risk of harm.