Executive Recruitment

The Role

Dear Candidate  

Thank you for your interest in St Helens Council and the key role of Director of Children’s Services. The role is a fabulous opportunity to shape outcomes for our children, as an ex-DCS I am fully aware of the challenges and opportunities that are inherent in the statutory role of Director of Children’s Services. It is an exciting time to join us, with much change on the agenda and a newly shaped senior management team, of which you would be an integral part. We have great ambition for our towns and for our residents, particularly for our children and young people.

As you know, we are currently in very challenging times and local government has never in its history had to deal with our current health, societal and economic crisis. Children’s Services in St Helens has, like all parts of the Council, had to find new ways of working to keep children and their families safe and at the heart of all we do.  This has not been easy but has given us the opportunity to work differently. During our period of “lockdown” we have learnt to work in different ways, learning that I am certain we will take forward into the future.  

St Helens Council is highly committed to delivering quality services to its citizens and as part of our new corporate management team you will play a central role in ensuring changes are made that deliver the political ambitions of our area.

Our local Councillors have a huge experience of the local area and are passionate about doing well for local communities. We are part of the wider Merseyside region and make an active contribution to this.  The Leader of the Council and Cabinet colleagues see Children’s Services as central to our programme of improvement. The executive members responsible for Children’s Services are highly experienced and child focussed in all that they do. They will prove to be a significant and substantial asset to the Director and their management team.

We are clear that we need to improve, and our Ofsted judgement has been a serious wake up call for for the council and its partners in working with children and their families. As an inadequate authority we work closely with the Department of Education through their intervention team and have been fortunate enough to have appointed a highly experienced Improvement Advisor. There is a clear improvement plan, approved by the Council that will now sit at the heart of all that we do.  

This is a brilliant opportunity for a newly appointed Director to make their mark.  We have recently invested substantial additional resources for Children’s Services and are clear about the future agenda.  Our workforce contains a mix of very experienced social work managers and social workers along with a number of newly appointed staff who will make a difference for the lives of our children, young people and their families.  

In St Helens we want to make a difference to children’s lives, if you share this and you are committed to change, I really would like to hear from you.

If you would like an informal conversation about the role you can contact Jim Leivers, Interim Director at JimLeivers@sthelens.gov.uk or myself at KathO’Dwyer@sthelens.gov.uk  

Yours sincerely

Kath O’Dwyer

Chief Executive