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Council plans to privatise children’s services

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February 22, 2024

Northamptonshire County Council has announced plans to transfer its children’s services to an independent organisation.

The authority claims a trust would provide greater stability and cut costs, saving as much as £9 million a year. The current children’s services department has a high staff turnover and is reliant on agency social workers, which cost the authority no less than £22 million a year.

If the plans are carried through, Northamptonshire County Council would become the third local authority to outsource its children services. The new trust is expected to be in operation by September next year.

Council deputy leader Heather Smith said:

“One of the key benefits of a trust model is the flexibility it can give in relation to the workforce. We will be able to significantly improve the terms and conditions for our permanent staff in order to reduce our dependence on costly agency workers. As a result the trust model will also be more affordable and deliver a more stable workforce.”

But Kathy Evans of the representative organisation Children England expressed scepticism.

“It is not clear that changing to new management structures for any council’s children’s services will be enough to solve the grave problems seen in all councils, of rising need and demand for children’s services, alongside severe cuts to council budgets. New trusts and outsourcing really can’t be seen as any automatic or immediate solution for councils.”

Northamptonshire County Council’s children’s services department was deemed ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted inspectors in 2013.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. The Devil's Advocate says:

    Wow at last a LA who might be able to get a work force which is more professional and has time to investigate family concerns in a balanced manner and use their employees to do what is in the best interest of children! Rather than some whose remit is to break up families, overtly support the psychological enslavement of children to hate 1/2 their family due to supporting such hate crimes.

    Marilyn arn’t hate crimes by parents who indoctrinate children to act in this way this a criminal offence? Or is England and Wales the two two countries in the world perpetuating and endorsing such criminal violence? Perhaps this LA will have the compassion, professionalism and responsibilities now to help prevent such crimes.

    Pity some Councils in SW England don’t do the same especially as their current position of wreaking family lives is a global record!

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