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Trandeep Sethi - District Lead Children’s Services

Written by: Fiona Narburgh
Published on: 11 Jan 2023

Trandeep Sethi - District Lead Children’s Services - Staffordshire County Council

The most fulfilling part of my job is seeing children and families succeed. A guy came up to me in a supermarket, telling me about the impact a play scheme I’d run many years ago had made to his life. He’s now a GP, working locally. I felt incredibly proud.  

I’m Trandeep and my job is all about making lives better for children and families. We want families to stay together and support them to do that. I work with 7 managers and around 40 staff, and many organisations like the police, housing and the NHS, to co-ordinate services for children, including education, child protection, disabilities, early help, adoption, children in need and those in care. Trandeep Sethi

Because all the agencies are working together, we can sort issues easily. For example, we had a Ukrainian family – a mum and her disabled son with profound autism – who were about to become homeless in the UK. One option was a single room in bed and breakfast accommodation, yet my team worked with our housing team to find them a house. Now the child is doing well in school, the mum is learning English. They’ve got shops and parks close by. We’ve helped make their lives better.

I chair a partnership meeting called MACE – that’s Multi Agency Child Exploitation – involving 20 + organisations including Chief Officers from the police and the senior health colleagues. One issue we resolved was a young girl being trafficked. We believed she was being taken by taxi to other cities. Our taxi licensing colleagues raised concerns with the taxi company. Now all taxi companies undertake ‘safeguarding’ training to spot and call out situations like this. 

Young adults leaving the care system can have a really challenging time. We’ve had some suicides in the past, truly awful, and young people self-harming too. I asked the local Freemasons if we could use their kitchens to put on a Christmas meal and event for our care leavers. Not only did they say yes but they funded a meal, presents and vouchers for 120 care leavers, with an event including a famous magician and opera singer. We put in place ways to help care leavers connect and support each other. 

If you are looking for a career to make a million pounds, then it’s not in local government. If you want a fulfilled life, then this is the place. As a black man I’ve felt supported and trusted throughout my career and promoted from that first play worker role, to doing my social work degree to the senior role I have now. And I’ve my sights on the next – Assistant Director of Children’s Services.

I’m in it for the kids. I’ve children of my own now too; don’t we want a better future for them all?Local Gov Career Guide Cover N

Trandeep is featured in our Local Government Career Guide, click here to find out more about working in local government and the wide variety of career options available. 

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