Introducing Louisa Joyce as the Designated Social Care Officer for Cheshire East Council

1 April 2022

We are pleased to announce that Louisa Joyce has been appointed as our new designated social care officer ( DSCO ). Louisa brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role, having worked for Cheshire East in child in need/child protection, adult social care as a social worker and as transition coordinator in special educational needs and disabilities ( SEND ) over the last 11 years.

The designated social care officer is a new role following national recognition that whilst there is oversight of health in education, health and care ( EHC ) plans by the designated clinical officer, the social care oversight was more of an add on role to social care manager’s jobs.  Therefore, it is great news that this role has been created in Cheshire East when many other local authorities have not yet developed this position.

The designated social care officer reports directly to the council’s children with disabilities service manager and works to ensure that colleagues are supported across services to meet their statutory duties for children and young people with SEND , in line with the SEN code of practice. Louisa will be working alongside colleagues to ensure high quality social care input and engagement with the EHC needs assessment and planning process at a strategic level. This will involve identifying needs early and developing pathways for those not currently known to social care; improving knowledge and understanding of SEND and social care; providing information and advice and promoting the Local Offer.

Louisa is passionate about ensuring the best outcomes for children and families, improving the social care input to EHC plans, and bringing the social care and SEND systems together. 

Keith Martin, children with disabilities service manager said:

“This role is vital to ensure that social care, SEND and health are working together to achieve the best outcomes for children and young people with SEND in Cheshire East.  Louisa has been working at a national level as a committee member on the recently published NICE Guidelines for Disabled children and young people up to 25 with severe complex needs. We are delighted to have appointed someone with Louisa’s knowledge and experience to the role and welcome her to the team.”

Louisa added:

“I am excited to be taking on this role and look forward to working with children and young people, parents/carers and education, health and care colleagues to make improvements at the strategic level which will in turn deliver better outcomes. I am very keen to work closely with children, young people, parents and carers to find out what is working well and what isn’t working well. If you have any feedback or if you are interested in joining a virtual or face to face, drop-in session, please email senteam@cheshireeast.gov.uk.”