Julian Wooster

Director of Children's Services

Next steps in our improvement journey...

Earlier this week, I spoke with Cabinet Members about where we are heading in the Children’s Services improvement journey. One key milestone that I was pleased to report following the third of our four performance reviews, is that we continue to meet the improvement requirements of the Department for Education and Essex County Council.

We now have key strategies agreed and we are putting into place:

- a partnership approved Children’s and Young People’s Plan (CYPP).
- a Corporate Parenting Strategy, setting out Somerset’s commitment to children looked after and care leavers.


The Children and Young People’s Plan (CYPP) reflects the commitment of the council that our children’s services should be excellent in three years. It is a multi-agency plan. It is important that everyone working with children and young people understand their role in delivering the CYPP. Look out for events coming to a venue near you in the autumn.

There are seven improvement programmes set out in the CYPP to improve the ‘well-being’ of children in Somerset:

- Supporting children, families and communities to become more resilient
Promoting healthy outcomes and giving children the best start in life
Improving emotional health and wellbeing
Building skills for life
Providing help early and effectively
Achieving effective multi-agency support for more vulnerable children and young people and developing an excellent children’s social work service
Embedding a think family approach across the workforce


Each programme has a year one action plan covering 2016/17 in place which have underpinning  priorities.

Whilst all aspects of the CYPP are important  – Programme 6. Achieving effective multi-agency support for more vulnerable children and young people and developing an excellent children’s social work service is core in addressing the immediate concerns of Ofsted and has the following priorities:

  1. Strengthen Family Support for Children in need of help and protection
  2. Secure stability for children through improved permanence planning
  3. Improve the outcomes for Children Looked After and Care leavers through effective Corporate Parenting
  4. Commission cost effective services to improve outcomes for children in need
  5. Strengthen Partnership working for Children in Need
  6. Further develop the capacity of the Social Work Workforce


More information on all of the programmes and the actions we need to take to achieve our ambitions can be found in the full plan here.

Our vision of excellent outcomes for children in Somerset can only be achieved if we all work together to ensure the above improvement programmes are successful.

If you’d like to see the full presentation I gave to Cabinet Members please click here.


Julian Wooster
Director of Children's Services


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