January marked the start of a new era for Birmingham Children’s Services when a by cabinet report was approved, setting out a Wholly Owned Company as the preferred option for the Birmingham Children’s Trust. This gives the formal go ahead to move into a Trust, following discussions with staff and partners last year.
A wholly-owned company (WOC) model was chosen after a carefully considered options appraisal recommended the WOC as providing more flexibility and a lower risk; with far less potential for disruption to on-going improvement. It was also recommended that the Trust is created as a community interest company which delivers real and tangible benefits to the community, and not for private gain.
Although there is still a long way to go in the process, anyone who is thinking about making the move to Birmingham is urged to come and help shape the new Trust.
Andrew Christie, Chair Designate of the Trust said:
“For anyone who is thinking of coming to work in the city the message is clear – we are open for business. The decision by cabinet marks the start of a step change for Birmingham Children’s Services and we want dedicated staff to come and be part of this change. Although wholly owned by the council, the trust will have its own board and management team to ensure operational independence and a single focus on children’s care with strong staff engagement including a role in governance arrangements.
The next step in the process (if approved by cabinet) is that a shadow trust will start running from April this year to ensure that everything that needs to be in place when the full trust begins work is actually in place, and that the trust is ready to go from day one.
There is a long way still to go, but this is a really important step for us. Any social workers who come and work with us now will automatically transfer into the Trust, and can be with us from day one shaping a Trust really focussed on the child. Ultimately, it is about creating conditions that allow our best social workers, with our partners, children and families, to do great work transforming the life chances of vulnerable children.”