Children's Improvement Programme

Effective Family Resilience

The council's ambition is that all children in the county receive the right help at the right time to enable them and their families to develop resilience to face future life challenges independently.

We will do this by ensuring that:

  • Everyone knows how to access help for children and their families.
  • Children with needs are identified early, they and their families are offered help at the earliest opportunity.
  • The majority of children's needs will be met without statutory intervention.
  • Children and their families are subject to statutory assessment and support only when it is evident their needs cannot be met through early help.
  • Adults are provided help to meet their own needs and this will enable them to have a better focus on parenting.
  • Children and their families' journey from statutory services as soon as their needs have been met, to continue on their birth family journey or if they cannot be cherished in birth families, with permanent alterative families wherever possible.
  • Children and their families are helped to become resilient so that they can manage future life challenges independently.
  • Children and their families' needs are met by confident practitioners trained in evidence based interventions.
  • The children's workforce is aligned to meet demand across the levels of need.
  • The children's workforce is supported by agile technology to enable them to maximise their direct work with children and their families.
  • The Surrey County Council estate is able to support the delivery of children's services at the right level of need.
  • Children's social care is able to demonstrate good financial stewardship and reduce spending.
  • The quality and quantity of Surrey foster carers is improved.
  • Children and young peoples' needs are met within one place, through one request, where we can take a holistic view of the child and family's needs and draw a package of support together across services to meet those needs.

Our improvement programme for Surrey's children's services was established in late-2018 and aims to address the deep rooted and long-standing problems that led to a position whereby children were not being adequately protected and kept safe. This follows on from the Children's Services Ofsted report published in May 2018 on the Ofsted website.

The programme objectives are:

  • To be smarter in terms of how we utilise the full partnership network, to provide more robust and resourced services at an earlier stage in the child's journey. We will use our leadership position to coordinate, promote cooperation and direct work to protect and safeguard children in this area.
  • To provision an effective Universal Services and Early Help offer in Surrey to promote and improve the wellbeing and welfare of children in our area through increased coordination, recording and ownership of early intervention activity with partner agencies.
  • To reduce the overall cost of services for children in Surrey through reallocation of resources to focus on earlier intervention and reduced demand on higher cost, higher need services.
  • To reduce the need for high-cost placements for looked after children through the smarter allocation of resources within the county, stepping down children to lower levels of need with smarter case management and follow-up/follow-through of care planning.
  • To realign the workforce to enable the effective operation of the new Surrey Family Resilience and Safeguarding operating model.
  • For children's services in Surrey to achieve an overall Ofsted rating of Good or Outstanding within 5 years.

The council is also delivering major improvements to our special educational needs and disabilities services (SEND) following a local area SEND inspection by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in October 2016.

For more information about our improvement programme and plans for the future please view the improvement update reports below:


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