Welcome to Devon County Council

Welcome Message from Stuart Collins

Stuart Collins Thank you for your interest in the post of Deputy Director Childrens – Wellbeing & Health at Devon County Council. On this site, you will find the full details of the post, as well as key information about the authority and the county of Devon.

As Director of Childrens & Young People’s Futures, I am aware of the challenges before us, but I am also proud of the progress we are making to meet those challenges.  The focus of our 2021-25 plan is on recovery and renewal, and a commitment to providing a Devon where all children and young people are safe, healthy, ambitious and can fulfil their potential.

Protecting, supporting and enabling the most vulnerable in society is the top priority for me.  Working with the Senior Leadership Team, our elected members, our staff, stakeholders and partners we are committed to tackling the challenges ahead. We want your expertise and experience to help us shape and achieve the sustainable improvement in services we are aiming for and our communities deserve.

The challenges include an ‘inadequate’ rating by Ofsted in 2020 and a recent government improvement notice for services for children with special educational need and disabilities (SEND). Budgetary pressures, staff shortages, the aftermath of the pandemic and our diverse, rural, urban, coastal and isolated communities.  Pockets of deprivation, mean that many children and their families are not getting the services they need.  We recognise the critical nature of these challenges, and we must improve, and urgently.

This is therefore a key role as champion of the quality of care, protection, support, welfare, and advocacy for vulnerable and dependent children and young people in Devon as it holds the responsibility for the authority’s quality assurance monitoring and performance, joint strategic planning, commissioning and key health service elements for Children’s Services.

It’s essential to combine strategic vision with strong leadership skills to inspire, collaborate and influence our workforce. We strive to deliver measurable improvement to ensure our quality assurance framework, data and intelligence information is managed effectively and safely across the breadth of Children’s Services.  With sound judgment and good decisions, the organisation will be financially resilient, continue to thrive, and importantly be “inspection-ready”.  

As an organisation, we have a positive, innovative and collaborative culture and enjoy excellent officer-member relations. We come together as Team Devon to collaborate closely with other local authorities, the NHS, voluntary and community groups, businesses, and many others for the benefit of local people. We know we must constantly evolve and transform the way we work to ensure that we get the most from every pound we spend so that we can continue to help and support the people we serve in the best way we can. 

We welcome applications from senior leaders from across the local authority, education, health, social work and the not-for-profit sector. You may be working at this level or an aspirant applicant wishing to further their career, but you will be ready for the next challenge, able to demonstrate you have what it takes to work with us in this challenging and rewarding environment, and above all, you have a commitment to making a positive impact for children and young people.

The changes you make will be decisive, but they will not be rapid, so you must be in it for the long-haul and we ask that you will also be ready to invest in Devon as a place to live as well as a place to work.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Yours sincerely,
Stuart Collins
Director of Children and Young People's Futures