Robert South, Director of Children's Social Care
Robert is responsible for children’s services in Havering; this includes education and social care services.
Robert supports the Chief Executive of Havering to work with partners to ensure the right services are delivered at the right time in response to need, achieving the best outcomes with those we work with, enabling our children and families to lead happy, healthy lives.
“I have the great privilege of being the Director of Children’s Services for the London Borough of Havering and working with residents, colleagues, elected members and partners to deliver a good start for every child in Havering.
"Our partnership, working together with children, young people and families, is committed to providing great opportunities and outcomes for all children and young people across the entire Borough.
"This is collectively our core day to day ambition and goal for all of the Borough’s children and young people.
"My lifelong interest and enthusiasm for work with children, families and young people sparked through volunteering within my native city of Manchester over 30 years ago.
"Direct experience of working with children and young people, as well as through my own family’s commitment to fostering children in care, inspired my passion for direct engagement with children and families to build positive change through hope-filled conversations, empowerment and relationship centred education, early help, and social care interventions.
"Since 2016, the London Borough of Havering has provided me with exciting opportunities to work with and alongside residents, colleagues, stakeholders and Elected Members to successfully develop and implement the Face-to-Face Havering model of practice and approach.
"Our systemic, strengths-based and relational model of practice has a marked impact upon improving outcomes for children, young people and families in the Borough.
"The approach continues to progress and develop and proves effective by privileging direct work and partnership with families alongside proactive professional collaboration.
"We support all of our staff and practitioners, from administrators to senior managers, with first-class systemic training and the day to day input of our team of systemic clinical practitioners.
"Caseloads are set to support a model designed to deliver consistently purposeful, planned and focused work for each intervention, which aids the empowerment of individual children and families.
"The difference made to practice and outcomes was formally recognised by Ofsted during the Service’s ILACS inspection in June 2018 when the Borough’s provision was seen to have progressed rapidly, moving to 'Good' in under two years.
"There is no room for complacency, and Children’s Services continues to receive investment from the Local Authority to drive targeted service improvement, creativity and opportunities for innovation from within our teams and through local, regional and national partnerships.
"Havering leads on a range of regional initiatives, including the Adopt London East Regional Adoption Agency, the North East London Commissioning Partnership (DFE Innovation funded) and the North East London Teaching Partnership.
"The Service has supported tremendous progress across the education sector in Havering, covering Early Years and Primary phases together with significant ongoing improvement across the Secondary phase.
"We continue to strengthen partnership arrangements across the entire education sector with a solid and well-developed focus upon leadership, inclusion and curriculum.
"Our education traded services and Academy of Leadership have achieved an excellent reputation across schools, and the wider sector and support sustained and improving outcomes for our children and young people.
"Havering is a great place to develop your career, contribute and influence change, grow and learn.
"We are an organisation dedicated to providing the support, challenge and theoretical framework to foster professional progression.”