West Midlands September Update 2015

1. WMADCS were pleased to meet the ADCS President in July. We have also ensured our representation at a number of national meetings and networks, and continue to improve our liaison between the various ADCS Committees and the region.

2. Over the summer we spent considerable time planning for Regionalising Adoption. We have submitted a coordinated regional bid with 4 sub-regional elements. We have good links with VAAs through the Adoption Leadership Board which is chaired bya DCS – Tony Oakman, Dudley.

3. During autumn for the last 3 years we have run our major Peer Challenge activity. LAs have spent July and August updating their Self Assessments, which will be moderated in September. Supporting data is also being collected and collated from national sources. Areas for challenge will be identified for each LA; and our Challenge Day in October will see LAs buddying up to challenge each other.

The outcome from the challenge day should mean that every LA has a number of priorities to address, and where a number of LAs identify the same or similar priorities they will be added to our Regional Improvement Plan. More information about the programme can be found here.

4. To take our Social Work Workforce Project to the next level we are now planning to carry out a survey to understand pay and reward for Social Workers and to forecast demand in coming years. We hope that the information coming from this will help us understand the situation in the region so that we can work together to make changes.

Our Social Work Agency Protocol is continuing to hold firm; we have seen a steadying in the market with fewer workers being hired and fewer moving on. We had another good session with Providers in July, where we discussed training and development amongst other topics.

5. We have developed a CSE Coordinators Network, which met for the first time in early September. This is going to be a useful resource for working together – information about early identified priorities can be found here.

This programme is supported by IEWM; more information on any of the above can be found via the Regional Chair Karen Bradshaw, Shropshire, Karen.bradshaw@shropshire.gov.uk), IEWM Children’s Programme Manager Polly Reed (preed@westmidlandsiep.gov.uk) or via www.wmadcs.org.uk.

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