Our Children’s Services

From caring for vulnerable children and providing great schools where they are needed, right the way through helping young people find training and jobs, our children’s services cover a huge range of help and support.

Vulnerable children and their families and carers need to know that we are also looking at our long term support and how we can change, adapt, invest and improve wherever possible.

Our strategic approach is straightforward

  • To provide the information, help and advice you need to make informed choices for you and your family. If you or a member of your family needs help, we want you to be able to find it quickly and easily – and for that information to really help
  • To focus our help early and effectively, so it has the greatest impact. We know that helping families early will make a huge difference to their opportunities later in life

We know that we have a mixed picture of care provision for our children, and we are working hard to change and improve this.

To focus our help early and effectively, so it has the greatest impact

 

 

Let’s be clear in one specific area: Our children’s safeguarding services have been rated by Ofsted as ‘Inadequate’ – this is not good enough and we are improving. 

 

It is also worth highlighting that we need to work more effectively with schools and academies: Our GCSE school exam results are improving – but still not good enough. We want our children to have the best possible opportunities – and we are working with schools and academies to address this.

In particular, children entitled to free school meals do not attain the same results as children from more affluent families. We will work to narrow this gap and to give all children in Somerset the same opportunities to succeed in life.

Targets

Children’s social care

Keeping children safeChildren in need in Somerset
Keeping children safe – We will improve our Ofsted rating at next inspection of child protection services and continue to make year-on-year service improvements.
Children in need in Somerset – We will aim to have fewer children in Council care and greater numbers of residents approved to foster and adopt children.

Education

Improving educationOpportunities for young peopleUniversity for Somerset
Improving education – We will aim to have better school results for all children across all key stages and in particular at GCSE and A-Level with a particular focus on disadvantaged children.
Opportunities for young people – We will campaign for fairer funding for our schools to increase numbers of children and young people in education, employment or training.
University for Somerset – We will work with partners to help create a university in Somerset.

Children’s health and wellbeing

Improving healthHelp yourself
Improving health – We will work to ensure more two year olds will be assessed as developing and progressing in their health and wellbeing checks and we will work to reduce numbers of women smoking through pregnancy.
Help yourself – we will make it easier to find the right information and support to help families help themselves.