Failing at Risk Children

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On Wednesday last week the National Audit Office released its report into Children in Need of Help or Protection which criticised the Government’s approach to improve protection of children as ’unsatisfactory and inconsistent’ with, worryingly, only 23% of Local Authorities rated as good by OFSTED for their child protection.

Not great.

Unfortunately when you start digging down further into the figures things don’t get any better.

32% of Local authorities have no OFSTED rating in the last three years.

26 out of 152 Local Authorities have been rated as inadequate.

It is clear that major changes need to be made to Local Authority statutory services and the Government have pledge to get this done by 2020. This is based in part upon the recommendations found in the Munro Review of Child Protection (2011) which recommended a major overhaul of children’s services. To be fair the government has recognised this and in July 2016 ‘Putting Children First’ was published outlining the plans to be put into place by 2020.

From personal experience, implementation of these new recommendations is glacially slow and there are questions to be asked about why this is. In our case we ask the question, how can we help?

Social Workers find it difficult to access information about what works and best practice despite requirements set out by the HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council). I spoke about this in my previous post about the day to day issues that frontline social workers face but just to recap, this includes overwhelming case loads and poor working conditions all of which leads to (very) low morale, high staff turnover, increase in agency workers and often leads to poor OFSTED ratings and, more importantly poor outcomes for the children with whom they are working.

With the best will in the world it can be difficult for social work and safeguarding staff to keep up with the latest research, latest reports, latest policy and latest procedures. In this case, in the private care sector we are lucky in that we do have the opportunity to keep up wth this. As such we can offer a dissemination to those who will be affected the most by these changes through CPD and training. All of which, handily can be included in the HCPC training requirements.

There are a lot of very good social workers out there who are, in many cases, let down by the authorities who they work for; who want to be up to date with the latest recommendations to meet the needs of their client base; who want to keep on top of developments to be the best worker they can be and who don’t want the next mention of a social worker in the media to be how they have let someone down again.

You can find our details on the contact page, drop us a line and we can talk to you about what we can offer to help you achieve everything you want in your career.