Welcome and thank you for showing an interest in the post of Director of Children’s Services (DCS) in Rochdale.
This is a good time to consider joining us in Rochdale.
Passionate, Pioneering and Proud are our core values and they reflect the place and its people. You may be aware that Rochdale is the original home of co-operation. This is a key strength of the place and reflects our successful work with our partners. It was the basis for our work in developing the Rochdale Relationships Manifesto three years ago, with our partners. We involved residents, families and young people in co-designing this, and other ambitious developments, and it has been the basis for success across children’s services and other parts of the council.
Speaking of success, in March our Sunrise Team (multi-agency complex safeguarding team) won Public Sector Team of the Year at the Children and Young People Now Awards, they were also highly commended in the Safeguarding Award. Our Sunrise model has been so successful since its inception in 2012, and more recently in 2017 when it connected with Greater Manchester Police's local organised crime team, it has been used as a model across Greater Manchester and beyond. We’ve been leading on complex safeguarding for many years and this innovative work is the very definition of our passionate, pioneering and proud values.
As a local authority we developed a very strong partnership with the Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale CCG, of which I am now the Accountable Officer. With a joint leadership team, integrated commissioning directorate and pooled budgets already embedded, we plan to use the health and social care white paper to continue the significant progress we’ve already achieved with health and social care devolution in Greater Manchester with a focus on ‘place’ and population health.
Our children’s services has significantly developed and built a reputation, under the leadership of our current director, for strong practice, innovation and creativity. It also makes a significant contribution to improving approaches to working with children and families across Greater Manchester and the north west region.
This flexibility supported our creative and responsive approach during the current pandemic. Our staff have been passionate in continuing to find creative ways to do whatever it takes to meet the needs of children and families. If it interests you, this podcast was produced a few months ago with the What Works Centre and our assistant director for children’s social care. It gives you a real flavour of the passionate and pioneering work our teams are carrying out.
We believe the service best represents a learning organisation; continually and successfully identifying opportunities for learning and improving through innovation. We’re passionate about helping our staff to be the best they can be. We have a workforce of just over 900 in children’s services and at our recent practice fortnight over 1,100 staff from children’s services and from the wider council workforce joined the virtual learning events available, demonstrating our commitment to learning and improvement.
Whilst the last year has been extremely challenging for us all, it has also delivered some benefits, such as building on our already strong partnerships with other public sector partners and our communities. It also created opportunities to significantly strengthen relationships and local offers with the voluntary and community sector, with examples such as the Food Solutions Network providing 32 different provisions to address food poverty.
Educational success is very important to children and young people in Rochdale, which is the 25th most deprived local authority nationally. Educational success is a key priority for us and our partners in schools and colleges, with whom we have built excellent relationships. However, achieving good educational outcomes remains a continued challenge for us, our schools and our residents. But it’s a challenge we’re all rising to. The high level of mobility and changes to our community, which has seen a significant increase in the number of families for whom English is a second language, are part of the context but cannot be a reason our children and young people to not succeed. We’re determined to help all children in our borough be the best they can be.
Like every DCS role, this role brings its challenges. You need to have strong leadership skills, be an effective corporate team player, have resilience, energy, creativity and openness to continue to build on the progress we have already made. If this is you we would like to meet you and share more about this exciting opportunity to join us.
We have provided information about the service that we hope is helpful, but if you would like to discuss the role with me, or the current post holder, we would be happy to do that and would suggest you make contact through our colleagues in GatenbySanderson who are supporting us with this process.
Chief Executive Rochdale Borough Council, Accountable Officer Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale CCG