Google Street View - Image Date - November 2020

A number of families in Herefordshire have received an email from Herefordshire Council this afternoon in relation to a Panorama episode that will be broadcast on BBC One on Monday at 8pm.

In the letter, Paul Walker, Chief Executive, Herefordshire Council apologises for the ‘serious failings that have occurred in Herefordshire Children’s Services over many years.’

He goes on to say that since his arrival in the position last year, that he has ‘taken these failings very seriously and made it my top priority to ensure we make the changes required, to ensure children and families in Herefordshire receive the help they need and are entitled to.’

Herefordshire Council’s Cabinet recently made a decision to invest £11.49m in Herefordshire Children’s Services.

Herefordshire Council Cabinet approved £11.49m funding at a meeting held on Thursday 31 March 2022, to support the ongoing improvements in Herefordshire Children’s Social Care Services.

The funding will help to ensure the council’s Children’s Services are adequately resourced and can provide a more secure and resilient service to Herefordshire children and their families in the future.

Corporate Director for Children and Young People, Darryl Freeman, said:

“The £11.49m investment provides us with security to support our significant and lasting improvements to Herefordshire Children’s Services.

“It means we will be able to offer our valued Social Workers a realistic workload, experienced managerial support and professional ways of working. It will help us to continue to build Herefordshire Children’s Social Care Services into a desirable place to come and work with a good work/life balance in a beautiful, family-friendly environment.

“Previous funding has already led to increased stability of our workforce, reduced caseloads for some staff, increased levels of personal and case supervisions, and increased frequency of visits to children and young people and their families. This additional funding will allow us to make many more changes, more quickly to improve our social work practice to support the children and families in the county that are most in need.”