THURROCK Children’s Service is embarking on an innovative programme of parental engagement and participation.
Mr Barnes and Ms Rich whose daughter has previously been in care are one of the parents that have agreed to work with Children’s Social Care to continually improve services.
Thurrock Children’s Social Care has previously apologised to Mr Barnes and Ms Rich for mistakes made during their daughter’s case. The couple were reunited with their daughter after the court made a Supervision Order.
Mr Barnes and Ms Rich have offered to use their unique experience to work with the council to strengthen social work practice.
Andrew Carter, Head of Children Social Care said: “It is vital that we are a learning organisation and work in partnership with parents to improve our practice. I have met with Mr Barnes and Ms Rich on a number of occasions and I am keen that we creatively take every opportunity to continue to learn from their insight. Social Workers have to make difficult judgements and I again apologise to Mr Barnes and Ms Rich for the mistakes that were made in their daughter’s case.”
Mr Barnes on behalf of the couple said: “We are keen to work with the department to protect children and improve the vital work that social workers do with families. Lessons have been learnt from our case and we are keen to see this continue.”
Mr Barnes was keen to stress the good practice of a number of the social workers that have worked with his family and his desire to make things better for all children in Thurrock.
Carmel Littleton, Director of Children’s Service, welcomed the initiative and stated that she is “committed to thinking outside the box and finding ways to work with Thurrock’s diverse communities, to ensure the children are protected and receive services that enable them to meet their full potential”.