Powys Councillors ambition to provide First Class Children's Service as recovery

Reporter:

Elgan Hearn

AN AMBITION to give “a first class” service to the young people of Powys should be the vision leading the recovery of the County Council’s Children’s Services.

Powys Council has less than a week to submit its plan to the Welsh Government for turning around Children’s Services

This follows a damning report published last month by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) which said that children had been put “at risk” by failings in the department.

They will return and inspect the department again in a year’s time.

Their 29-page inspection report outlines that the council needs to produce an improvement plan within 20 working days of the report being made public which will go to the Welsh Government’s Social Services minister, Rebecca Evans AM, for approval.

A further comprehensive improvement will be needed within 90 days.

At Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting council leader Cllr Rosemarie Harris revealed that the improvement board set up to steer the department’s recovery was set to meet during the afternoon.

They would be looking to ratify the plans to improve the services before they are sent on to be looked at by the minister.

Cllr Harris said: “This has been done with a certain amount of speed.”

Phil Evans, the new Interim Strategic Director of Social Services, said that the improvement plan was based on the failings identified in the CSSIW report and focussed on “dealing with those issues”.

“It’s a substantive improvement plan, we can be confident this can be delivered in a timely and effective way.

“It will take us so far, we still need some substantive additions in key areas that are HR (Human Resources) and performance management before it’s made public,” said Mr Evans.

He added: “We will be meeting with outside bodies who will play a key role in this substantive and collaborative effort.”

As part of the changes, the education and children’s services will work closer together.

Cabinet member for education, Cllr Myfanwy Alexander, said: “This report is the start of a new relationship. We are confident in developing closer relationships that will deliver.”

Children’s Services portfolio holder, Cllr Rachel Powell, said that she wanted to “commend” the staff on every level for having worked “extremely hard”

Cllr Rachel “They have demonstrated focus.”

“For me that produces extra opportunities to strengthen the service with long term sustainability.”

Cllr Stephen Hayes, cabinet member for Adult Services, added: “Our ambition must not stop here.

”The report concentrates on putting this right.

“We need to go further than the minimum.

“Our ambition is to have a first class service for the young people of Powys.”

Email:

elgan.hearn@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the County Times

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