It is really sad to learn that some Local Authority services for children are stopping or cutting back on services for children and families. The UK is entering a period of financial restraint never known before and there has been a rush to cut services but there is an opportunity even in these challenging times. There are creative ways to safeguard actual delivery to children and their families.
"The human relationship between staff and families is the critical point of service."
Public services could join together to work in a collaborative and seamless way. Separate management structures could give way to economies of scale. A well trained professional service does not need to focus on expensive layers of control.
The human relationship between staff and families is the critical point of service. It is also the part of service where management control actually has least influence. Since it relies almost entirely on the quality of the interaction, it can be continually improved and enhanced by staff development. This would allow more people to be employed in direct work with children and their families, within a small integrated management structure. This model would also allow the Local Authority Children’s Services to take a more creative and inspirational approach towards guidance and quality control.
"public service is complex but that is exactly the reason to simplify it."
Managing cultural change is never easy. It requires vision and leadership.
It is true that public service is complex but that is exactly the reason to simplify it. It has grown complex by incremental change rather than radical change. All of which has added layers of hierarchy and consequent complexity.
It creates a situation where people need to be employed to interpret what needs to be done rather than being enabled to provide innovative change.
Aid agencies, the military, airports and transport links and many other services manage complex and difficult situations every day.
Taking Children's' Services to a new level in these new times requires people with exceptional strategic and visionary skills who can instigate more imaginative action.
They exist – let’s engage them.