MORE than £11million is planned be spent on bringing Herefordshire's children's services up to scratch. 

Herefordshire Council said it is continuing on its improvement path with planned major investment in children’s social care services.

The department was slammed by a judge last year after the death of a child in foster care.


A recommendation to Cabinet, published on March 23, requests a £11.49m investment to help ensure children’s services are adequately resourced and that we provide the foundations for a more secure and resilient service for the future.

Chief executive Paul Walker said: “Since I arrived in May last year, we have undertaken a thorough analysis of our children’s social care practice, which has informed our recommendation to invest significantly in Herefordshire children’s social care services.

"Our social workers continue to do their best, often in very difficult circumstances, to support families and protect vulnerable children in our community. We know that our practice still needs improvement in some areas and we are committed to making the changes needed to provide better services for children and families in Herefordshire.”

Corporate director for children and young people, Darryl Freeman said: “We should be able to offer our valued social workers a realistic workload, experienced managerial support and professional ways of working.


"We need to build Herefordshire children’s social care services into a desirable place to come and work, which effectively supports families during their time of need and which provides employees with a good work/life balance in a beautiful, family-friendly environment.

"We will continue to ensure our staff have the support they need and the confidence and commitment to report any concerns as we make significant and lasting improvements to Herefordshire children’s services.”

Previous investment has already led to increased stability of workforce, reduced caseloads for some staff, increased levels of personal and case supervisions, and increased frequency of visits to children and young people and their families, the council said. 

The additional £11.49m funding will allow for significant and lasting improvements to reduce caseloads for social workers, provide more frequent and better supervision and management of social care staff, and allow the council to make more changes, more quickly to improve our social work practice for children and families in Herefordshire.

Funding for the investment is being allocated from the resilience reserves, which is a fund to address unexpected organisational costs and help support the organisation in a time of need. The total amount currently held in resilience reserves is £16.7m

Herefordshire Council Cabinet will consider the decision at its meeting on Thursday 31 March.