John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, his Cabinet along with 23 other council senior leaders recently took part in ‘Practice Week’ – a week of over 30 activities that showed them first-hand how frontline children’s services support families.
Practice weeks have been introduced over the last two years. They provide senior leaders with a unique opportunity to hear directly from service users and staff about the work they do, which helps to ensure a high quality of service.
The team spent time at the Ocean Children’s Centre, one of twelve children’s centres across the borough, looking at early intervention measures and support for some of the most vulnerable families.
Other sessions included visits to foster carers and children in the care of the council, the youth service and teams focused on family support, protection and early help.
John Biggs Mayor of Tower Hamlets said: “It’s really important for senior leaders to personally see how our services help children and families. Practice Week gave us first-hand experience of the vital work our children’s services carry out to ensure we give the best life chances for every child.”
Councillor Danny Hassell, Cabinet Member for Children Schools and Young People said: “Practice Week shows decision makers, including the mayor and cabinet colleagues, the great work that goes on by our committed staff in settings across the borough. It was an insightful and inspirational experience and reinforces our commitment to delivering excellent support to children and families in Tower Hamlets.”
The visitors also met the council’s edge of care team, which ensures families experiencing difficulties get the support they need and, where possible, work to keep children safely in the family home rather than taking them into care.
Sir Alan Wood, the Independent Chair of Tower Hamlets Children’s Services Improvement Board and a former President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services also took part in the week. Sir Alan visited the council’s new social work academy and the early help hub, which offers support to families.
Sir Alan Wood said: “This was an excellent week and there are great things happening here. Tower Hamlets is a great place for social workers to prosper.”