Calderdale Council’s Director of Adult and Children’s Services, Stuart Smith, has announced his retirement and will leave the local authority in September.
Having spent his career working with children and young people, Stuart received an OBE in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to children.
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Stuart joined Calderdale Council as the Director of Children and Young People’s Services in 2011 at a time when the directorate had been judged inadequate by Ofsted.
Under Stuart’s leadership the team has gone from strength to strength and has won several national awards, including for its partnership work to protect vulnerable children from CSE. The Council’s ‘Troubled Families’ programme and all residential provision run by the Council has been judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.
Since 2016 Stuart has also been Calderdale Council’s Director for Adult and Children’s Services after the service merged with the Adults, Health and Social Care directorate.
Leader of Calderdale Council, Coun Tim Swift said: “I would like to thank Stuart for his immense contribution to the Council, and in particular improving the lives of children and young people since he joined the Council.
“Under his inspirational leadership and the hard work of staff, Children and Young People’s Services has been through a sustained process of improvement, and has become a national example of best practice in several areas.
“I wish him a long and very happy retirement.”
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Since the joint post was created in 2016, there has been a significant shift in scale, breadth and expectation of the statutory role of Directors of Adult’s and Children’s Services both locally and nationally.
When considering a replacement for Stuart, the Council’s Governance and Business Committee will therefore be asked to recommend to Full Council the deletion of the current joint post of Director for Adult and Children’s Services. It is proposed that this will be replaced by two posts: a Director of Adult Services, Integration and Wellbeing and a Director of Children and Young People’s Services.
The development of Calderdale Cares with the increased integration of health and social care services and the current pressures from increasing demand on the social care sector merit a dedicated Director of Adult Services, Integration and Wellbeing.
Equally the scale of the challenges facing children’s social care, services for care leavers, education and safeguarding have intensified over the past eighteen months. Appointing a dedicated Director of Children and Young People’s Services, will ensure that the Council consolidate progress made to date in managing demand, and ensuring effective services for children and young people.
If the proposal to separate the roles is agreed the process of appointment to the two posts will begin, within a timescale to ensure that both Directors are in place before Stuart leaves. There are huge demands associated with both roles, and this will help to make sure that the transition is accomplished smoothly.
Collaboration between services within both Directorates will continue where this supports efficient and effective ways of working and the delivery of high quality services to residents.