Director Children’s Social Care (designate) Bradford Children’s Trust
In Bradford, we’re serious about improving our Children’s Services. We know our children, young people and families deserve the best. Our past failings have been well publicised. Whilst these have been hard to hear we have listened and are taking the focused actions needed to improve and create quality Children’s Services. We know this will be a long journey, it will not all go smoothly and we’ll probably get some things wrong, but we’re determined to make rapid, consistent and embedded progress. To this end, following discussion with our Commissioner and the DfE, we’re establishing a Children’s Services Trust to run all Children’s Social Care across the District on behalf of the Council from April 2023.
The Trust will be owned by the local authority and will work in partnership with it but will function independently, with its own structures and reporting lines, an independent Board and Chair, and a clear focus to deliver significant, sustainable improvement in Children’s Services across the District.
This is a challenging role: we need to urgently improve services and outcomes for children and young people. At the same time our critics are vocal, and everything we do happens in the spotlight under forensic scrutiny. We’re a big district, hyper-diverse, with some endemic social problems, rural and urban poverty and high levels of need. In normal circumstances this is a tough role, but the cost of living crisis, Covid and the subsequent economic shock have significantly increased the pressures our communities and businesses are under. Addressing these challenges will take someone special.
About the Role
We’re still finalising our plans and the specific arrangements for the Trust, but we’re clear that the new Director will be central to the creation of the Trust. They’ll work with the newly appointed Independent Chair, the Chief Executive of the Trust and through to the Shadow Board, to design, shape and lead the transition to the new arrangements, to go live in April 2023. Throughout they’ll be in close contact with the Commissioner, the DfE and key partners to drive the pace of change and secure confidence in the new Trust arrangements.
The new Director of Children’s Social Care for the Company will also be the Deputy Director of Children’s Social Care, reporting to the Council’s Strategic Director of Children’s Services, until the Company goes live in April 2023. They will lead the improvement of Children’s Social Care across the district, deliver real significant service improvement, and ensure a smooth transition to the new Trust, when they’ll transfer into the Director role.
Key priorities will involve stabilising the workforce building morale, celebrating our successes while addressing our failings in a structured, strategic and effective way. We need sound judgment across the system, with social work practices to be consistently better, partnerships to be more effective, the voice of the child to be heard more clearly. We need confidence based on success, underpinning a strategy focussed on the right action, by the right person at the right time, across all we and our partners do. We’ve resourced this plan, we now need the leadership to take us further, faster, better.
Our new Director will be a qualified social worker with directly relevant experience of leading system wide improvement in Children’s social care across a complex system, building effective partnerships, gaining the trust of children and young people and making a visible difference to outcomes. They will bring all the relevant experience this entails – judgement, political awareness, leadership and management, establishing effective relationships and partnerships, delivering improvement in a regulated system combined with determination, resilience, tenacity, intellectual dexterity, adaptability, confidence, values, character and most importantly, a burning passion to serve our children better. They’ll already operate at the highest level, but this role will give them the freedom, the platform and the backing to make a difference at scale.
There’ll be many who won’t look twice at this role. We know that. But if you identify with our people, our place and our children, if you thrive in the face of multiple challenges, if you’re at the top of your game, and you want to create something quite special, then you might just want to find out more about why Bradford is so unique. Speak confidentially to our advising consultants about the role. They will also be able to arrange for conversations with key individuals at Bradford.
Please download the Job Profile for the role below. Also have a look at the Library page to learn more about Bradford – the place and the Council.