COUNCIL chiefs say there is no ‘silver bullet’ to solve the problems affecting the county’s children’s services.

Earlier this year, Ofsted inspectors rapped Herefordshire Council leaders and managers for failing to improve the overall standard of children’s social care, four years on from the previous inspection.

The children and young people scrutiny committee last week considered budget proposals for the next financial year and cabinet member Elissa Swinglehurst explained how they were taking several approaches to tackle the challenges.

“It is a very difficult area,” she said.

“As much as I would like to say that there is a silver bullet, there isn't.

“It is a multi-dimensional, multi-faceted area with many challenges in it.

“I can discuss one or two of the approaches which are key, like early intervention, care prevention, and a whole family approach. This over time will be beneficial.

“It is important we get it right, get a workforce which knows it is valued, appreciated and being praised when it should be and that gets the support when it is needed.”

Wormside councillor Jon Johnson emphasised the importance of all sectors of society working together.

“It has been great to hear how some of those things are coming together," he said.

“I believe Herefordshire is a wonderful place to bring up children and we’ve seen the school results coming through and the improvements that we’ve got.

“We have a lot to celebrate and it’s just ensuring that, as communities, we are working together to make sure the families that are struggling have these early signs.

“Parenting isn’t an easy task, even if you’ve got straight forward children, and I don’t think one exists.

“Looking at the budget at the moment it is really tight.

“We are cutting at the bone and not cutting at the meat anymore, but it comes down to making sure those other services can help and figuring out what else we can do is really important.”