Director of children’s services in Norfolk resigns after ‘slow improvement’

County Hall Norwich ENGANL00120130804112222
County Hall Norwich ENGANL00120130804112222

The director of children’s services at Norfolk County Council has stepped down, just over a year after he took on the role permanently.

Michael Rosen announced he was moving on from the position on Friday, after a quarterly monitoring letter by Ofsted Inspectors said the services are not yet consistently “good enough” across the board.

Mr Rosen joined the council as an interim assistant director for early help in 2013 and became the director in September 2015.

Speaking of his decision to step down, he said: “Children’s services in Norfolk has come a long way and is a very different service from when I started. I’m pleased that inspectors have seen improvement in all the areas they reviewed, but there is still more to do and members have indicated a desire for a change in our approach.”

He went on to say that the services need a director with a “different skill set” if challenges are to be addressed at the pace that “Norfolk’s children deserve”.

The Ofsted report did highlight signs of improvement in social care services for children in the county but said that the overall pace of improvement remains slow.

Some of the improvements noted in the letter included: the ‘robust’ initial response to child protection issues; strengthened and effective arrangements for managing risks to children who go missing or are at risk of sexual exploitation; and care leavers services which are starting to deliver better outcomes for young people.

Mr Rosen added: “I am sure that the talented and committed staff of the department will respond positively in maintaining their current focus on rapid improvement at all levels with continued support from members and corporate leadership for the direction of travel.”

Chairman of children’s services committee Roger Smith said: “Michael has made an important contribution to strengthening children’s services which has made a notable difference to the lives of vulnerable children. We are determined to do everything possible to get our services to be rated as good - that is what Norfolk children deserve.”