Bradford Children and Families Trust assumed operational responsibility for children’s early help and social care services from Bradford Council yesterday (1 April).
The Council committed to establishing the Trust in a bid stabilise, recover, and improve children’s services. It is an arm’s length limited company, which is owned by and accountable to the council, but operationally independent from it, with an experienced and independent board to support its work.
With effect from midnight, around 1,500 frontline and other social care and back-office staff transferred from the council to the Trust, with their pay, terms, and conditions protected.
The Trust’s Chief Executive, Charlotte Ramsden, said: “I am honoured to become the new Trust’s first chief executive. It enables us to make a fresh start as a new organisation, with the clear vision for all children and young people in Bradford to be safe and able to realise their full potential.
“We’re bringing the mindset, dynamism, and energy of a start-up together with the national expertise of the Trust’s senior leadership and the practical, frontline experience of our social care and wider staff teams in supporting children, young people, and families in Bradford.
“We’ll build on improvements that have been made over the past 18 months under the current children’s services leadership as we address the priorities for improvement identified by Ofsted and the revised Children’s Services Improvement Plan.
“We won’t be making big changes overnight, as our first priority is to ensure that the organisational changes happening behind the scenes don’t disrupt our frontline services to children and families.
“Over time, we will work together on developing our services and practice and focusing on where things need to improve so that children and families have the services they need and deserve, by working constructively with the council and our many other partners, by building a permanent, professional workforce of committed, local social workers and by innovating and adapting best practice from around the country.”
The trust is developing an initial business plan to set out its early priorities, which it will publish in the coming weeks, and aims to produce a longer-term business plan later in the year.
Kersten England, Chief Executive of Bradford Council, said; “We welcome the establishment of the Trust and look forward to working with them to drive improvement for children in the Bradford district. We know that children’s social care services need to improve. It is why we took the decision in January last year, along with the Department for Education, to set up the Bradford Children and Families Trust.
“The Trust, which will go live on 1 April, is a fresh start for the services dedicated to protecting the most vulnerable in our society – our children. But I also want to reassure all those families who depend on children’s social care that the services they receive today will continue.
“I want to thank all those who have worked incredibly hard to set up the Trust. I also want to thank all the staff who are transferring to the Trust for all their continuing dedication to the children of this district.
“The Trust will be a wholly owned subsidiary of the Council but also act independently of it. We will however work very closely together, and with our other partners, as we all strive to achieve our shared ambition of delivering the very best services possible to the children and families of our district. I, and everyone at the Council, look forward to forging this new working relationship with the Trust.”