Innovation-on-Sea: Children’s services in Southend

A feature sponsored by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council

Southend Pier Cultural Centre (View Pictures/Rex Features)
Southend Pier Cultural Centre (View Pictures/Rex Features)

At Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, we’ve transformed our children’s services over the last five years. Taking a fresh approach to our work, we’ve centred everything we do on the idea that the potential belongs to the child. That success is determined by the child and family and that it’s up to us to remove the barriers and injustices that stop children achieving.

But doing the best for children, young people and their families is about more than just organisational structures and processes; it’s about the attitude, the dedication and the passion of our social workers. They’re at the heart of the difference we make to our community, which is precisely why we listen to their ideas and value their opinions – taking everything on board as we shape an innovative service delivery, develop mature partnership arrangements and transform the way we do things.

A part of our efforts to improve our frontline service, we’ve worked with partners at the Youth at Risk charity to deliver a bespoke transformational coaching and challenge programme to social care practitioners and managers – empowering them to effect change within families, communities, alongside partners and within the organisation too. Delivered as part of a supportive learning environment, the programme has dramatically impacted the teams’ working practice and built up resilience across all tiers of staffing.

It’s a long-term commitment that’s clearly reflected in the achievement of being one of only four UK authorities to be graded ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted for children being and feeling safe. Not to mention our ranking as 35th best employer in the Stonewall Workplace Index and recognition as an Investors in People Silver employer. We’ve also shown year-on-year that the priorities set out in our children and young people plan have secured real improvements, while our performance scores across our safeguarding indicators have steadily risen, with many well above both national and statistical neighbour averages.

We’ll be exhibiting at the up-and-coming Community Care Live 13 event on the 21st and 22nd May at Stand 22 and we’ll also be hosting a masterclass on the first day (Room 1 – 2.15pm – 3.30pm, Question Time will start at 4pm). Our masterclass will provide a thought provoking and interactive session, which will give you the opportunity to learn how we achieved our Ofsted rating through motivating our staff through participation and innovative partnership working. You will also have the benefit of receiving some of our transformational coaching and hear how you can adopt our approach and enhance your own outcomes.

For further information and recruitment opportunities please visit www.southend.gov.uk/careers

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