MANY Children’s Services staff on Bradford Council may still be feeling “confused and upset” by the changes being implemented after last year’s critical Ofsted rating.

The claim was made by Interim Director of Children’s Services at Bradford Council Gladys Rhodes White, who was providing an update on efforts to approve the department since it was judged Inadequate late last year.

Speaking to members of Bradford Council’s Children’s Services Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday, she highlighted a number of changes that had been made in the department, and what still needed to be done.

Members were told that there had already been numerous changes, such as reducing the caseloads of social workers by employing agency staff on full contracts.

Bradford Council's Children's Services judged 'inadequate' with Ofsted saying the service has 'rapidly deteriorated'

But during the discussion Councillor Talat Sajawal (Ind, Little Horton) said he had heard from people he knew in the department who claimed there was confusion over the proposed improvements.

He said: "I have heard conversations about managers going into meetings and coming out with different messages. There seems to be a whole lot of confusion going on for people in the service."

Mrs Rhodes White said: "You're absolutely right, there are people who still feel confused and upset with the amount of changes happening.

"We have to encourage them to be patient. We have a lot to do to get to the stage where we are no longer judged inadequate.

"It will feel like everything is changing before things settle down and get better. It is about re-assuring staff that things will stabilise.

"But that will take a while to come. I hope that in the next three or so months things start to settle. That is when there will be some semblance of things getting to where we want them to be."

Anne Chester-Walsh, interim assistant director for improvement, said: "We need to make changes very quickly, and that could sometimes lead to a confused message.

"The demands we are going to put on staff are huge, but the reality is our staff will step up to that. We need to be giving a good service to children and families in Bradford.

"We think staff will be able to manage that, but staff that don't manage will be looking elsewhere for work."

Members of the committee were also told that inspectors recently returned for a monitoring visit. Mrs Rhodes White said during that visit inspectors reviewed cases, and found that no child was unsafe. But there were still improvements needed - in areas including homeless young people.

The results of the monitoring inspection will be released in the coming weeks.