The new structures will establish closer working relationships with the health service and education. The move follows a damning Social Services Inspectorate review of children's services which found that children had not always been appropriately protected (LGC, 22 March).
The top-tiers of the department have been scaled down and the council is about to recruit to fill to its three new deputy director posts. Four area directors will cover the same areas as primary care trusts.
Susanna McCorry (Lab), cabinet member for social services and health, said: 'Our social services department is the largest in Europe. Our aim is to be the best as well as the biggest.'