Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Children's services review launched

A review of childrens' social services which aims to bring about fundamental changes is being carried out in Neath Port Talbot.

The Council is carrying out a systems review in response to the increasing demands on children's services.

The review will aim to identify ways of cutting down on any unnecessary red tape so that children and families can receive an improved service.

This review forms part of the wider programme that the council is undertaking in Childrens' Services to address issues that have been identified both locally and nationally.

Leader Ali Thomas said the children and young people in need of care and support are at the heart of this review.

"The safety of our children is paramount," he said. "We will work very closely with our partner agencies to ensure that the needs of the child and their families are addressed.

"Protecting our children is not just a job for Social Service staff but also partner agencies, such as health professionals and the police and the Welsh Assembly Government. This is why their input is so important."

The Authority has established a team, within the Change Management and Innovation service, to support and assist with the review. It is anticipated that the review will be complete in approximately six months although we will be looking for interim results at an earlier stage.

Head of Children and Young People's services Julie Rzezniczek said each year the demand on the service grows.

She said: "Due to the financial climate it is likely to become increasingly difficult to access extra funding for more staff.

"The systems review aims to streamline processes to make them more efficient so that we can maintain our focus on the children and families whom we support. We rarely support families without the input of partner agencies and we are therefore working closely with our partners who are contributing to this review.

"We are ambitious about the potential gains and outcomes of this review, so we have also engaged the support of the Welsh Assembly Government in case there are some national messages from this review that could be adopted across Wales."

Miss Rzezniczek added: "Experts in children and young people services will also be working with the Authority to identify areas which can be changed and lead to improved working practices for the better of all service users."


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