Thirty jobs at risk in Norfolk County Council’s children’s services department

Thirty jobs at Norfolk County Council's children's services department are at risk.

Thirty jobs at Norfolk County Council's children's services department are at risk. - Credit: Archant

Thirty workers in Norfolk County Council's children's services department are at risk of redundancy, as part of a shake-up of the department.

The guidance advisers, who work with vulnerable people to stop them leaving education, employment or training, face redundancy or redeployment under a proposed restructuring in the department.

Michael Rosen, interim assistant director at the County Hall department, said: 'We believe that out proposed new structure will be an improvement for families, simplifying services and giving vulnerable young people a single point of contact.

'Guidance advice for vulnerable young people will continue but will be provided in a different way.

'We want to ensure that children, young people and their parents and carers receive help early, before problems escalate. 'This means working with families to assess all of their needs, including working with teenagers who need extra support to prepare for employment or training, when they leave school.

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'Guidance advisers currently work with a range of vulnerable young people including care leavers, young parents and teenagers with special educational needs.

'These young people are already being supported by a range of other professionals, such as support staff in early help, Norfolk Family Focus, our children with disabilities team and via services for looked after children.'

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Mr Rosen said the proposed structure would see guidance advice incorporated into those teams, which he said would give families a single point of contact.

He said: 'Guidance adviser posts would continue for those families not accessing other services. We are currently consulting on the proposed structure with staff and, as part of this, we would be interested to hear staff views, particularly about the possibility of a traded service offer to schools or social enterprise in this area, if there is soundly based proposal.'

The council stressed the changes were not due to cuts in the staffing budget, which will remain the same.

Norfolk County Council's children's service department last year came in for stinging criticism from Ofsted inspectors.

The three Ofsted reports criticised its arrangements for safeguarding children, its role in challenging and supporting schools to improve and said services for looked after children were inadequate.

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