Birmingham City Council

Boost for children’s social workers

Boost for children’s social workers

A new era in delivering children’s social care will dawn on Tuesday, November 10th, with the opening of 21st Century offices to improve the working environment of social workers.

Lifford House will ultimately provide a single base for 16 teams of children’s social care staff and address a part of the key recommendations of the recent Scrutiny Inquiry into Children’s Social Care.

The Inquiry found social care teams to be "scattered" across the city hindering "consistent and effective performance management" and often in poor accommodation.

Lifford House on Fordhouse Lane, Stirchley, is a 40,000 sq ft building that will provide workstations for about 650 council employees and is a major part of Birmingham City Council’s business transformation programme.

Colin Tucker, director of Children’s Social Care, said: "This is an important landmark in the improvement journey we are currently on within children’s social care.

"For too long, staff doing one of the most demanding and important jobs in this city – ensuring the wellbeing of our children – have had to put up with sub-standard accommodation.

"The environment in which people work impacts on how they feel about their job and in my view it’s overdue that those working in children social care get the facilities they deserve.

"I am delighted this is happening. Lifford House will enable us to have far more consistent approach to management and free up more time for social workers to spend with children and families."

Lifford House will be fully occupied by March 2010. As well as providing a base for staff within the Children, Young People and Families directorate, council workers from the Adults and Communities and Housing and Constituencies directorates will also transfer to the new site.

Lifford House has been transformed over the last 18 months from a derelict warehouse into a modern, adaptable and efficient working environment.

It is expected to act as a catalyst for regeneration in the local area and provide a boost to the local economy.

Lifford House is one of the key projects of Birmingham City Council’s Working for the Future modernisation of the authority’s property portfolio.

Cllr Neville Summerfield, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and sponsor of Working for the Future, said: "This project is much more than just a building and more than just efficiency savings.

"It is a project that will benefit the community as a whole. It will help with the regeneration of this area and give a boost to the local economy.

"And, perhaps more importantly, the new working environment will help change the way we work, so that we can achieve a much needed improvement to the services we deliver to our customers."

ENDS

Further information from Shahid Naqvi 0121 303 3635.

Notes to editors

1. Business Transformation is Birmingham City Council’s ambitious nine-strand programme, which aims to modernise and enhance services delivered across the whole authority to citizens. It is projected that the programme will realise benefits of around £1.5billion in the ten years to 2016.

2. Service Birmingham is a strategic partnership between Birmingham City Council and Capita which will support a transformation in the way the council works; improving services and contributing to its efficiency agenda. This strategic partnership forms part of the council's objective to find better and more innovative ways of delivering services for the benefit of employees and citizens. The principle of this joint venture focuses on the provision of cost effective, sector leading, ICT services and in supporting the council in achieving its business transformation objectives.

3. Working for the Future, an essential part of the council’s wider Business Transformation programme, will consolidate the operational office portfolio and will be a catalyst for increasing workforce agility across the council contributing to the delivery of four key outcomes: better customer service, improved workplaces and work styles, greater sustainability and lower property operating costs. The Central Administrative Buildings (CAB) element of WFTF programme is set to realise £100million of net benefits. Working for the Future is the only one of the council’s nine Business Transformation programmes for which the full expenditure and benefits are quoted over 25 years. The remaining eight programmes are projected over the ten years to 2016.

  • Category: Local Services
  • Reference number: SN-516
  • Issue date: 10 November 2009