West Midlands Summer 2015 Update

WMADCS met in May, and we are looking forward to welcoming the WMADCS President at the next meeting 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.

One of our key recent priorities recently has been developing our Workforce Programme. We took a big step forward when we implemented the Social Work Agency Protocol and it has enabled us to start to tackle the wider workforce issues surrounding permanent Social Worker recruitment and retention. We are planning some forecasting of our workforce requirements, analysis of current pay and reward offered across the region, development of career pathways and gaining an understanding of our regional picture of NQSWs/AYSEs to make sure we have sufficient quantity and quality coming into the system. We are in the “coming up with ideas” stage so would be grateful to hear from anyone who has done any of this already.

We were also pleased to attend the East Midlands’ event looking at the Early Hep workforce and are planning to take forward some work in this area in the near future. (thanks East Mids for sharing your thinking!)

We have been carrying out a review of our regional Commissioning Programme with a view to refocussing our priorities. The clear messages have been that we need to both support a regional network of practice sharing and problem solving, including regional solutions where appropriate, and develop our efficiency programme to take costs out of LA budgets though collaborative activity. Once again we are keen to learn from others on this, so if you have an efficiency programme that we might be interested we would love to hear from you.

We have reinvigorated our Early Help Network, and had a good session looking at the evidence base for Early Help in April. We also held a session jointly with Social Care Ads considering approaches to managing demand. Our planning for the year includes sessions on Early Help in the Early Years, including the 0-5 transfer and the role of Schools in Early Help.

We have been making improvements to the way we collect and use performance information regionally, and have developed a scorecard in order to support our Sector Led Improvement activities. You can read about it, and see our 2015-2016 dataset 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 the website www.wmadcs.org.uk.

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