Birmingham children's services department to axe hundreds of jobs
Plans to axe almost 900 jobs and save £62 million have been drawn up at Birmingham City Council’s children, young people and families department.
Radical reorganisation including a cull of management posts and a 30 per cent cut in back-office administration are proposed for children’s social services, where safeguarding provision for youngsters at risk of sexual and physical abuse has been condemned as inadequate by Ofsted.
In documents leaked to the Birmingham Post, officials set out an action plan aimed at remodelling social services by working more closely with GPs, hospitals, health centres and the police to prevent family breakdown and stop children from reaching the stage where they have to be taken into expensive care.
The transformation proposals have been drawn up by Tory city councillor Len Clark, who has been given a special cabinet role to improve social care.
Children’s social services is currently working to a Government improvement plan which is being overseen by a 15-person management board.
Coun Clark (Con Quinton) said: “There is hardly a role in the service that won’t be altered. The whole thing is going to be reshaped.
“We won’t turn things around by merely making modest alterations. We need a full-scale remodelling exercise.”
But the changes were given a lukewarm reception by Birmingham MP John Hemming, chairman of the Justice for Families campaign.
Mr Hemming said remodelling would not prevent social workers from making “stupid decisions” by inappropriately taking children into care.
He gave the example of a teenage girl in his Yardley constituency placed in a home after a row with her mother. The girl was “seriously harassed” at the home and is now pregnant, he added.