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Birmingham confirms plan to establish voluntary trust for children's services

Birmingham City Council has confirmed that it intends to move to a new model of children’s services by establishing a voluntary trust.

In a statement the local authority said: “We are now at the start of the third year of our agreed improvement journey plan and it is acknowledged by our Children’s Services Commissioner that expected progress has been made.

“Key to this has been putting families at the centre of social work. It is now the time to consider a model that has social workers at its centre.”

Birmingham said the move was something it had been discussing “for some time“ with the Department for Education and that it was the next logical step on its improvement journey.

The statement added: “In moving to the next phase, Birmingham City Council and the DfE are committed to working together, along with our members, staff, partners and trades unions, on details of how the trust will operate.”

The local authority said that in due course, a formal decision would need to be taken by its Cabinet.

The council's children services have been rated 'inadequate' since 2009.

Lord Warner was appointed Commissioner for Children’s Social Care in Birmingham by the Government in March 2014.

He was replaced in December 2015 by Andrew Christie, who was Executive Director of Children’s Services for the tri-borough authorities of Westminster, Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea until his retirement last month.

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