West Midlands regional update April 2017

National LADO Conference

March kicked off in full swing with the National LADO Conference being hosted by the region in Birmingham city centre. 10 years since the creation of the role, the conference was an opportunity to reflect on the importance and the impact of the work LADOs do. The day started with a talk from Lyn Gavin, Safeguarding Engagement Lead at CBS on how the Disclosure and Barring Service helps employers make safer recruitment decisions to protect children. Her talk was followed by an incredibly moving account of a survival by Nabila Sharma, Author of the book ‘Brutal’ - which served as an incredibly powerful reminder of why everyone was gathered in the room. There were workshops hosted by the NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit, Ofsted, Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS), and BASW; and speakers including Detective Inspector Michael Spellman from West Midlands Police; Sarah Hammond, a Senior District Crown Prosecutor; Anne Tiivas, CPSU Director for the NSPCC; and Dez Holmes from Research in Practice. The West Midlands would like to thank everyone from across our national community who attended the LADO Conference 2017, as well as the wonderful speakers and workshop leaders who made the day what it was. We look forward to next year’s conference!

ADCS, ADs, Network Chairs Leadership Summit

Following on from our Peer Challenge event in November, a LGA Sponsored DCS Residential at Warwickshire University in December, and a Leadership Summit (for DCS, CEX, Elected Members and Safeguarding Board Chairs) in January, WMADCS hosted a Regional ADs and Network Chairs Leadership Session on the 16th March. The meeting offered an opportunity to share our regional priorities for 2017-2020, and to consult with key stakeholders on implementation. Sponsor DCS led discussions with ADs and Network Chairs about delivery in practice and to generate input, ownership, and energy around delivery. As part of this a regional Governance work stream has been set up with a short life task and finish group established to move the West Midlands from an Improvement Board to system leadership approach. The group is Chaired by a DCS and includes CEX, lead members and an LSGB Chair and have established proposals for the governance of sector led improvement; amongst them Member and CEX Champion for each of our four priority work streams; a (Bi) Annual Children’s System Leadership Forum to address areas of concern or lack of progress; and an Extranet site that all can access for progress/performance reports, best practice, discussion items.


WM ADCS are committed to ending the ‘vicious circle’ of workforce issues being recycled around the region from one authority to another. Our proposed solution to this is ‘Futuresocial’; a collaboration between all 14 Local Authorities/Children’s Trusts in the West Midlands region. Working together, pooling resources and capability, to build workforce capacity and capability at regional level. lt will be the first regional Social Work Academy providing end to end support for career development, encompassing; Qualifying and ASYE programmes, Recruitment and retention, Post-qualifying continuing professional development, Leadership development programmes and Workforce planning. The region are working with Mutual Ventures to develop this ambitious programme – so watch this space.

Regional Agency Social Worker Update

On Thursday, 23rd of March, we hosted a West Midlands Social Work Agency Providers Update, which was attended by upwards of 15 agency representatives. The event covered items such as; Details of new caps from April 1st; Regional response to IR35; New collaborations around auditing suppliers; and Savings achieved. The meeting was a positive success as both agencies and Local Authorities and Trusts continue to work together to progress this issue.

National Conference: Regional Approaches to Managing the Interim Agency Market.

Finally, on 1st June 2017: 10.00 – 3.30 pm in Central Birmingham WM LGA and West Midlands ADCS will host a National Workshop on: Regional Approaches to Managing the Interim Agency Market.

Nationally all regions are grappling with the problem of managing the agency market for interim staff both in terms of the quality of staff but also the cost. A number of regions have begun to tackle this or are in the process of setting up regional projects to so. This workshop provides a unique opportunity to come together and share the learning of what is working well, some of the challenges and issues faced, and what future developments might look like going forward.

Aims of the workshop:

  • To understand the strategic drivers around the interim social care market and what this means to both individual local authorities and regions going forward;
  • To share good practice and learning from the regions responding to these strategic drivers
  • To look to future workforce development policy, what impact this might have on the interim market and how local government might respond.

Those who should attend:

Senior HR managers, Procurement senior officers, Workforce leads, Chief Executives, Directors of Children’s Services and Assistant Directors, Regional Improvement Leads, Principal Social Workers.

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