Chief Executive’s Introduction (Children’s)

Dear potential colleague and member of Team Bradford,

Thank you for taking an interest in what will undoubtedly be one of the most fulfilling and challenging DCS roles going in 2019. The outcome of the Ofsted ILACs inspection in late 2018 was deeply disappointing and difficult for us all. Ofsted recognised that we had already identified and begun to tackle issues such as stabilisation of the workforce, practice supervision, workload management and strengthened audit activity. But it was clear that too much social work practice fell below acceptable standards and wasn’t good enough for our children.

We are determined to turn this around. The organisation as a whole and our partners will work tirelessly to demonstrably put the voices and needs of our children, particularly our vulnerable children, at the heart of everything we do. We are the youngest District in the country and our 150K children under 18 are brimful of potential. We want to ensure they flourish and that their potential is realised.

Your leadership will be at the centre of this work. This isn’t just about the children’s social care aspect of the role. Though undoubtedly the improvement journey we are on will be a first order priority for the DCS the work will be fruitless if other dimensions of what makes for a great start in life, a positive experience of education and confident entry into adulthood are not addressed. In this you will have the support and contribution of politicians who are dedicated to this work, school leaders, great partners from the voluntary and community sector, business sector and statutory partners, myself and staff from all services of the council.

Despite the evident challenges we face there are real strengths to build on:

  • exceptionally close partnership working
  • whole council commitment and willingness to invest as needed to make improvements
  • an enthusiastic and diverse social care workforce that reflects our communities
  • an established social work teaching partnership
  • a ground breaking and world leading research programme on childhood development ‘Born in Bradford’
  • a major programme of work on early years ‘Better Start Bradford’
  • skilful work on some of the most complex challenging issues for vulnerable children such as CSE, children missing, serious and organised crime, human trafficking etc.
  • innovative work on edge of care services

This isn’t a job for the faint-hearted. It is the job for someone who is an open-minded team player, collaborative and corporate, who will roll-up their sleeves and apply their accumulated experience, insight and leadership skills to build great futures for our Bradford children. There is nothing more important to Team Bradford right now and I hope you will want to join us.

Best wishes,

Kersten England

Chief Executive