A HEREFORDSHIRE Council plan to transform its failing children's services was given backing today (October 28).

It was endorsed at meeting of the council's cabinet meeting, which has key decision-making powers.

The children and families strategic improvement plan sets out how the council will deliver high-quality services for the county’s children and young people, and place them at the heart of all decision-making processes.

The plan aims to rebuild trust and ensure that the council provides compassionate and effective children’s services that last into the future.

It includes detailed actions to be taken to reach each goal, including reviews of staffing levels and current working practices and how the council will work with partners to implement improvements.

More than £5 million has been made available by the council to fund the changes needed to improve the service.

The implementation of the plant comes after the Department for Education (DfE) served the council with an improvement notice in May in the wake of a damning High Court judgement on the children's services directorate’s conduct.

A judge had condemned the council for what he described as some of the most “egregious and long-standing failures” he has ever encountered in his professional life.

Darryl Freeman, Herefordshire Council’s interim director of children and families, said: “We are pleased that our improvement plan has been endorsed by cabinet.

"Our improvement work is already well under way and we are looking towards a much brighter future where children and young people are at the heart of everything we do and where people are proud to work for our children’s services and support Herefordshire’s families.”

Councillor Diana Toynbee, Herefordshire Council’s cabinet member for children’s and family services, and young people’s attainment, said: “Our cabinet has embraced this plan and we’re committed to making sure that our children’s services stay on track.

“Today is an important milestone in our improvement work, and we now have a really positive focus and momentum.

"It’s great that the plan is now a public document that all of us in Herefordshire can share, feed into and use to improve the lives of children and families.”