The Children and Families Division (formerly Staying Safe) has achieved significant success over recent years. This has been built on stability and consistency: consistent support and focus from our members, clear and consistent executive leadership, a stable workforce and sound finances. It’s not always been so and we’ve had a few bumps on the way. However, our determination to ensure Bolton’s long-term success by investing in all our children and young people has always been one of our guiding principles.
Some key successes have included:
- Development of an effective and consistent front door to services through our Multi Agency Screening & Safeguarding Service (MASSS)
- Effective risk management with an improved Early Help offer, high levels of Early Help Assessments and low levels of Child Protection Plans.
- Continued successful application of our LAC Strategy with Good services for LAC and Care Leavers
- Our well-regarded Adolescent Support Unit prevents young people on the edge of care becoming looked after
- Extremely successful Fostering service with most children placed with our own carers and very low numbers of children placed in IFA’s away from Bolton
- Consistently Outstanding (eight consecutive years) Children’s Homes
- Outstanding Short Break Residential and Family Placement Services for Disabled Children
- Improved Missing from Home and CSE processes – timely intervention, intelligence gathering & reporting across our Partnership
- Stable, skilled and motivated Social Worker workforce. Low social worker turnover and very low agency usage rates
- National best performing authority for percentage of children leaving care through Adoption over the past five years
- Host Authority for the innovative Adopt North West and Fostering Front Door Regional Projects.
- Lead Authority and host for Adoption NoW Regional Adoption Agency
Some key facts and figures about the Department:
- We have 88 Looked After Children per 10,000 child population.
- Of our 584 Looked After Children, only 18 (3%) are placed with Independent Fostering Agencies.
- Only 4% of our LAC population are placed outside Bolton.
- We have outstanding adoption performance with 44 children adopted in 2016-17.
- Our rate of staff turnover is low and our vacancy rate for social work posts is consistently very low (currently 2.8%) and we have a correspondingly low level of agency use.