Education Minister Anne Milton MP congratulated Surrey County Council social workers this week for the ‘passion and energy’ they’ve shown as they strive to improve services for children and families in Surrey.
The Guildford MP met staff working in the new Children’s Single Point of Access (C-SPA), which is the gateway to all support, information and advice for families and those who work with children in the county. The new C-SPA has recently been recognised by Ofsted for the improvements it has brought to children and families who are in need of support.
During the visit the MP and Councillor Mary Lewis, Surrey County Council Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families, were given a tour of the C-SPA and spoke with staff dedicated to improving the lives of children in Surrey. They also met Police and NHS staff who work with families to understand how the new C-SPA has improved their experience of referring children to specialised services in Surrey.
The visit follows a period of significant transformation which is making services better for children across the county. The improvements have been driven by the dedication of staff under the leadership of Dave Hill CBE, Executive Director of Children’s Services, who arrived in Surrey a year ago with a clear mission to turn the service around. A key part of this transformation has focussed on making sure children and their families get the right help at the right time. The new C-SPA is bringing this about by ensuring families have access to preventative and early help services at the earliest possible moment in a child’s life.
The new C-SPA triages requests for support so that children, young people and families get help when it’s needed. The C-SPA brings together professionals from across Children’s Services, and from different agencies, to provide direct information, advice and guidance about where and how to find the appropriate support for families.
Following a recent inspection of the C-SPA, Ofsted described the service as having “made substantial progress”. According to the report, the C-SPA is now helping to significantly improve the safety and welfare of children.
Following her visit to the C-SPA, Anne Milton MP for Guildford said:
“It was great to meet the dedicated social workers who serve Surrey’s children and families and see first-hand the passion and energy they are putting in to improving services for some of the most vulnerable people in our county. Surrey County Council had significant challenges and I am very pleased to see a large step change in their approach.
“The reaction from the police and NHS staff who the council works with also shows just how hard the county council has worked to build true partnerships across the services that children rely on.”
Councillor Mary Lewis, Surrey County Council Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families said:
“I am very proud of the way staff here have devoted themselves to making children’s experience of our services better. In a very short space of time I have witnessed significant change, and this is a testament to the dedication of our social workers. I have the full support of the Leader and the whole Cabinet, and we are all committed to making this an outstanding service for residents.”
Dave Hill, Executive Director for Children’s Services said:
“I’d like to thank Anne for visiting us now and marking this important milestone in our journey toward offering outstanding services to children and families. We have made significant progress and I am confident that we will continue down this path of improvement. Staff in the directorate have shown remarkable dedication in bringing this about. I’m proud of the work they’ve done so far”.