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Children's Services

About us

We believe that the children of Cornwall deserve the best. When you join us, you’ll be changing their lives for the better, as well as your own. If you understand and believe in humane, relationship-based social work with children and families, we offer the opportunity to develop your social work career in an innovative and ambitious children’s service in one of the most beautiful parts of the country.

Social workers in Cornwall play a leading role in delivering effective, integrated, frontline services, that safeguard the welfare of the most vulnerable children and young people in Cornwall. They work in multi-disciplinary teams and in partnership with colleagues from different professions and agencies.

Our Children’s Services were inspected by Ofsted in October 2019 under the framework of the Inspection of Local Authority Children’s Service (ILACS). Our overall rating of 'Outstanding' places Cornwall’s children’s social care service in the top 10% of services nationally despite lower levels of funding and significantly higher levels of deprivation than most.

We have developed and embedded a strong learning and performance culture which has enabled our performance, direction and approach to be maintained through the Covid-19 pandemic. We remain committed to continuously improving practice and service delivery- ‘building on outstanding,’ whilst also adapting and strengthening our teams’ resilience with enhanced support and flexible working practices during the pandemic.

We encourage and enable our best practitioners to stay in practice and reward them for their expertise and commitment to work directly with children and families. We are committed to creating a healthy balance between your work life and your personal life.

We will also support your career progression and ongoing development through our outstanding Career and Qualification pathway and core curriculum, recognised by Ofsted, offering a high quality programme of learning to enhance your skills and practice. A competitive starting salary and the opportunity to increase your pay further as you progress.

We can provide flexible working opportunities, including part-time hours and homeworking; sponsorship for eligible social work candidates, plus relocation support of up to £8,000 for candidates relocating to Cornwall.

Our Social Work Teams

The multi-agency Early Help Hub is the single point of contact for professionals and families to request more than 20 health and early help services.

Our Multi-Agency Referral Unit (MARU) is the single point of contact for social care referrals.

Family Assessment & Support Teams receive referrals from the MARU, are locality based and work with children and their families to assess support needs.

Gweres Teylurow offer a specialist service for families with primary aged children on the edge of care, Gweres tus Yowynk offer a specialist adolescents’ service including Youth Offending Service, which supports young people age 13 + on the edge of care.

Disabled Children and Therapy Services undertake the majority of assessments and care planning in cases where children have severe and enduring disabilities and illnesses, including Occupational Therapy assessments, Early Support and Portage to the case management of child in need, child protection plans and children in care plans for disabled children. 

Child Protection Teams are locality based, and work with children and families through the court process.

Children in Care Teams also work in localities supporting children in care.

The Children in Care and 16+ (Care Leavers) Service is responsible for recruiting and commissioning a sufficient range of placements to meet the needs of children in care and care leavers, as well as ensuring that young people leaving care are supported to make a safe and successful transition to adulthood and independence.

The Fostering and Adoption Services provide the majority of placements for children in the care of the local authority and are responsible for recruiting, assessing and supporting sufficient foster carers and adopters to meet the needs of children in care where the plan is for adoption.

The Kinship Team is responsible for supporting the assessment of private fostering arrangements and potential special guardians, and the Family Plus Team supports placements resulting from Residence, Child Arrangement and Special Guardianship Orders.

For more details on teams visit Childrens services - Cornwall Council

Stand up to Social Work

We know that our achievements are down to front line practitioners and managers, working directly with children and families. It’s their values, commitment, professional skills and hard work that make the difference. Our success is also down to good partnership working. You can’t deliver good children’s services without other agencies. It’s also down to the way we work with children and young people, parents’ and carers. In fact, they give us many of the ideas for our best work and most innovative and effective services.

“Social workers have a very good understanding of the children they work with; they visit them regularly and ensure that their needs are holistically well considered.” (OFSTED 2019)

“Children in care and care leavers benefit from access to an exceptional participation offer … they engage in a wide range of participation activities throughout their care are beyond. Their achievements are celebrated and they are involved in interview panels and have well established links with the corporate parenting board. This ensures the needs of children in care and care leavers are prioritised.” (OFSTED 2019)

We believe in humane, relationship-based social work practice with children and families. Our unified approach is marked by interventions that are strengths-based and pro-social learning. Our innovative practice and services reflect this approach, with inclusive ways of working such as the Family Partnership Model, Functional Family Therapy and Video Interaction Guidance. We’re also a ‘Signs of Safety’ implementing local authority and partnership, with supervision standards based on Morrison’s 4x4 model. It all adds up to a whole-system approach to supporting families. And crucially, better outcomes for children.

Management Team

Our Strategic Director, Meredith Teasdale oversees Together for Families, the name for children's services run by Cornwall Council. This includes children's community health, education and social care.

We work with our partners who may provide for other services for children and young people under a plan called One Vision.

Ben Davies is our Service Director for Cornwall’s Children and Family Services, responsible for the full range of children’s social care services delivered by the Council as well as the Council lead for safeguarding children and the Agency Decision Maker for adoption and fostering.

Messages from our Directors

Meredith Teasdale

Strategic Director

Children and Family Services Together for Families

"Together for Families has a strong child-centred, family focused culture that is based on finding strengths. It is the best place I have worked with staff who go the extra mile always to improve outcomes for our children and their families”.

Ben Davies

Service Director

Children and Family Services Together for Families

"We have a service approach and culture which supports and empowers professional judgement, and where we invest in our people to develop their skills and capabilities to make a real difference to children and families. Our people are amazing- our biggest asset."