December 5 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, October 24, 2013
A new interim assistant director of children’s services has been appointed at Norfolk County Council as part of a revamp to turn around a department which has endured stinging criticism.
Michael Rosen has been appointed to lead the department’s early help and prevention agenda and joined the council this week.
The department has been criticised by Ofsted for the way vulnerable children are looked after and the support given to schools.
That led to the county’s MPs calling for a change in leadership, prompting the departure of former director of children’s services Lisa Christensen.
Sheila Lock was brought in as interim director of children’s services and has been presiding over a shake-up in the department.
Lesley Whitney, one of the assistant directors retired last month and Mr Rosen, who most recently worked at the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, where he was interim head of education and childcare, replaces her.
Ms Lock said: “I am pleased to have been able to quickly strengthen the leadership team with Michael’s appointment.
“He brings a wealth of both social care and education experience from the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, but also has significant experience in a number of London boroughs and the private sector and this interesting mix will be a huge asset in helping us become a more cohesive service going forward.”
The council is currently recruiting at least 50 additional social workers to help reduce caseloads and give social workers more time to support families whose children are “on the edge of care.”
Mr Rosen said: “It’s a great time to be joining the team in Norfolk. I’m looking forward to working together with colleagues across the council and its partners to improve the lives of children and families.”
Mr Rosen’s appointment follows the recent arrival of both Andrew Haley and Helen Wetherall to the senior leadership team within children’s services.
Mr Haley is head of safeguarding and Ms Wetherall is interim assistant director for improvement.