I’ve held the position of associate director in Wiltshire since November 2013. Prior to this I was responsible for the operational management of all safeguarding teams and strategic leads in the county. In total I have over 20 years’ experience of frontline children’s services, with 14 in managerial positions.
I came into this role after a period of improvement following an ‘inadequate’ rating by Ofsted inspectors in 2012 – within just 16 months we had improved the services enough to achieve an ‘adequate’ rating. My challenge now is to ensure we continue on this improvement journey.
I have already taken steps to restructure many of the services, replacing some of the frontline teams with a multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH), where cases are triaged and referred to the most appropriate service. Alongside this we have dedicated safeguarding teams in hubs across the county. These new ways of working mean that social workers now offer more targeted support, and can follow cases through from referral to completion.
We give our social workers the tools, the space and the environment to focus on enhancing the lives of children and families. This includes new technology and the chance to work flexibly or remotely. We are improving our succession planning too, piloting the ‘POD’ model of social care, and commissioning a social work academy approach that will support the professional and personal development of everyone here.
Our aim is to become ‘outstanding’. So I am looking for people with a ‘can-do’ attitude, people who represent all the communities we work with and people who share our passion for improving young lives.
We are aiming for excellence and I want Wiltshire to become a respected leader in children’s social care.