HEREFORDSHIRE Council is to work with one of the country’s leading children’s services teams as it looks to bounce back from its damning report. 

Leeds City Council is rated as 'outstanding' by Ofsted and has a strong track record of working with other authorities to help improve services.

Earlier this month, a panel convened by children's commissioner Eleanor Brazil produced its highly critical report of Herefordshire's children's services after hearing from families affected by the department.

The panel found their cases showed “core failings in the system”, families “felt that the professionals’ responses exacerbated and escalated” initial problems, and when then complained to the council, they found procedures were “inadequate."


Herefordshire and Leeds councils will now work together to improve the way the former works with familiies to improve outcomes and ensure that children and young people across the county thrive.

Darryl Freeman, Herefordshire Council’s Corporate Director for Children and Young People, said: “I’m really pleased to welcome our colleagues from Leeds on board as our long-term improvement partners.

"They have experience in turning around their own children’s services to become an ‘outstanding’ rated service and with their knowledge and support we hope to increase the pace of our improvement journey.”

Councillor Ivan Powell, Cabinet Member Children and Young People, added: “We are delighted to have Leeds on board and look forward to working closely with them for the foreseeable future.

"This partnership is another positive step forward in Herefordshire’s improvement journey.”

Meanwhile, Sal Tariq, Director of the Leeds Relational Practice Centre, said: “We’re really excited to be working with Herefordshire.

"Our initial meetings with Children’s Services in Herefordshire have been really positive – there is a real energy and passion for changing the way children’s services work with children and families.”