England’s second independent children’s trust launched today.
Slough’s children’s services have been moved out of local authority control into an independent, not-for-profit, children’s trust, which takes over the delivery of the authority’s services for vulnerable children.
The move was announced last year by children’s minister Edward Timpson after the council received a damning Ofsted report, which found “widespread and serious weaknesses in Slough’s child protection service”.
Slough follows Doncaster into the government-enforced trust model, and David Cameron indicated in a speech last month that he would like to see the same happen in more local authorities where services are failing.
Timpson said the service would provide a “radical new way of delivering improvements”.
“Slough children’s services trust will focus exclusively on achieving excellent social care services for children and families in the borough – driving up standards and providing invaluable support at crucial times in their lives,” said Timpson.
Nicola Clemo, the trust’s chief executive, said it was focused on ensuring that services were safely transferred.
She said: “Once we have safely assumed responsibility, we will quickly get on with [the] process of improving the quality of services we provide, to help keep children in Slough safe, secure and successful.”
Clemo has experience in local authority transformation after she oversaw Cambridgeshire’s record-breaking improvement as director of social care. The trust’s board will be chaired by Elaine Simpson, who is also chair of the National Children’s Bureau.