Morale getting better at crisis hit Children’s Services department says chief

BCC Cllr Lin Hazell ENGPNL00120130627122001
BCC Cllr Lin Hazell ENGPNL00120130627122001

Children’s services boss Lin Hazell says that improvements to the under-fire service are going well.

Mrs Hazell, speaking to this newspaper, says that she is keen for Ofsted to 
come back and inspect the service soon. In 2014 the 
Bucks County Council service which supports vulnerable children and young people was branded inadequate by Ofsted.

An improvement 
programme was implemented with initial reports of slow progress, but Mrs Hazell says that she is confident that the changes are taking hold.

She said: “Everything is indicating that we are on the road to recovery.

“We are really waiting on another Ofsted inspection, it’s unlikely that there will be anything in August though because that is when they take time out.

“In the meantime we will continue to work on our recovery.”

And Mrs Hazell said that morale among Children’s Services staff is also steadily improving under the new regime.

She said: “This did hit 
morale a lot but people are now seeing themselves as part of the solution and the atmosphere is a lot more positive.

“We still have problems with social worker

recruitment and we do have interim people that we would rather were permanent.”

And when asked what the biggest challenge was, Mrs Hazell said: “The biggest 
challenge is keeping it sustainable, we do feel as though 
we are working in the dark a bit because Ofsted hasn’t come back yet.

“But I am confident we can go into requires improvement - which is the next step, it’s just a case of waiting for the inspection.”

Mrs Hazell took on the Children’s Services role in 
November 2014, succeeding previous cabinet member Angela Macpherson who resigned.

In that time she has 
overseen the much-needed changes, as well as working to set up a Social Worker Academy, which it is hoped will train and retain more staff for the service.

What do you think?

Have you been affected by the Children’s Services upheaval and how?

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