Keeping Devon’s children safe – August 2015 update

Covering: Devon Children Improvement Plan, Lean project closure, improving the lives of children and young people in Devon – a guide to how it all fits together, Workforce Plan 2015/16 and much more.

Back copies of staff bulletins:

Key management messages

Dear colleague

On 18 August 2015, we submitted our improvement plan to Ofsted and the Department for Education as required under the framework for the ‘Inspection of services for children in need of help and protection, children looked after and care leavers’. This followed the Ofsted inspection which took place for Devon County Council in February and March this year with the report being published on 12 May 2015.

The Devon Children’s Improvement Plan sets out our ambition to get to ‘Good’. It builds on the recommendations for improvement from the Ofsted inspection under the Single Inspection Framework, the LGA Peer Reviews (October 2014 and February 2015), and ongoing activity such as findings from audits and feedback from children, young people and families, and has been developed involving  partners, staff, Members, scrutiny, and senior managers in Devon County Council.

The plan supports relevant themes of the new Devon Children, Young People and Families Plan ‘My Life, My Journey’ which is under development through the work of the Devon Children, Young People and Families Alliance and involved substantial engagement with children and families through a series of consultation events last autumn.

A “busy person’s” summary has been developed online called the Children’s Improvement Plan Outcomes Summary, which lists the key outcomes the plan will deliver over the coming year. Alongside the online summary you will be able to download the full 36 page plan ‘Devon Children’s Improvement Plan 2015/16’, from the website soon. This is updated monthly and will be refreshed throughout the year, as new areas of work emerge. The current full plan dated 19 August 2015 can be viewed here.

Please refer to the most up-to-date Children’s Improvement Plan summary and information online:

Newsletter Live training – new dates

The topics to be covered this autumn are:

–          Special Guardianship

–         The Modern Slavery Act 2015

–          Care Leavers Financial Policy

Book your place now.

Improving the lives of children and young people in Devon – a guide to how it all fits together

New arrangements are now in place around the roles and responsibilities of the key children’s strategic groups, and how they will work together and share information on their work. (PDF version)

Children’s Services and Child Protection Workforce Plan 2015/16

The plan is now available online.

It sets out the actions that will be taken during 2015/16, with support from HR, to continue the work to improve the deployment, management and development of the workforce within the Children’s Services and Child Protection Service.

The plan has been informed by the Ofsted inspections, recent Peer Reviews and DfE feedback, the Workforce Planning and Capacity Plan 2014-17 and the evaluation of recruitment, retention and performance management interventions undertaken during 2014/15. It can be found on The Source.

Our Family Group Conferencing service receives accreditation

Devon’s Family Group Conferencing (FGC) service is based on the belief that families can usually find their own solutions to the difficulties they are facing, and that children and young people have the right to have their families fully involved in planning for their future.

The accreditation is a significant achievement and important national recognition of the high quality of work being delivered in Devon.

Developing our social work academy

Within the academy we will be providing up to four work experience placements for young people in care / care leavers 16+ and view this as part of our corporate parenting responsibility.

Full implementation is still planned for September 2015, find out more.

click to enlarge Virtual School Team

Virtual school update

Many individual young people in care do well at school. However, as a group, Children in Care do not perform as well as their peers.

The Virtual School aims to work with schools, foster carers and other services to close this attainment gap.  As part of this work we monitor the educational outcomes for all Children in Care on a termly basis. Read the update.

August 2015

Important updates

Lean Review Project – an update

Within Children’s Services, the new ways of working have been positively received, reducing paperwork and enabling staff to spend more time conducting direct work with children and families (PDF version)


What is fDocs and where do I find it? Find out more.

Targeted Family Support (TFS) key classification

The Targeted Family Support (TFS) key classification and related information has been removed. Find out more.

Business Systems Quick Reference Guides

There is now a new page on The Source containing Quick Reference Guides on the following:

–          CareFirst (includes general guidance; My Assessment; My Plan; RAS; Keyboard Navigation)

–          Egress

–          Network Drives and Folders

–          TRIM

Resources and Publications

Serious case review CH09 (George)

You may have missed that the Devon Safeguarding Children Board (DCSB) published the serious case review into the death of 15 year-old George, a young man who, an Inquest has confirmed, took his own life in June 2013.

DSCB summer newsletter

The summer newsletter has a Spotlight on children with disabilities, amongst other news and information.

DSCB Training Newsletter

There are still a number of places on the September training courses.  Please note that all child protection training courses arranged by DSCB need to be booked through CPD online.

HR update – Manager Briefing: Recruitment

August’s edition includes articles on performance, workforce development and recruitment activity to share with social work teams.

Reminder: network account management

A new network account lifecycle process is being implemented. Line managers are asked to ensure employee absence notifications to HR are up-to-date, to make sure that network accounts are not made inactive inappropriately.

Missed an issue?

–         Bulletin back copies

–         Key messages and supporting documents for staff

Keeping Devon’s Children Safe public website

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