Findings released by UNISON today (26 January), show that without decisive action, it is only a matter of time before there is another Baby P tragedy.
- Six out of ten respondents work in teams where over 20% of posts are vacant. More than a fifth have a vacancy rate of over 30%.
- Three quarters report that average caseloads for social workers have increased since 2003.
- Nearly 60% say that staff who do not have a social work qualification, or are newly qualified, are more likely to be doing child protection work for which they are insufficiently trained or experienced than in 2003.
- Twenty eight% believe that there is less access to adequate supervision; with 52 per cent saying it has simply remained the same.
- Half of all respondents believe that social work services are now worse resourced than in 2003, with only nine per cent believing it is better.
- A third believe that the system has not improved over nearly six years.
Issues include remote leadership and inexperienced management, lack of focus on the rights of the child, problems with agencies passing the buck on assessments and a need for more accountability from outside agencies.
UNISON’s eight-point plan (this reflects the different position in Scotland)
National caseload management standards: enforced through the inspection process and regularly audited by the council leadership, with sanctions against employers who breach the Scottish Social Services Council’s Code of Practice for Social Care Employers.
Mandy McDowall (Regional Officer) 07903 846 427(m)
Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0771 558 3729(m)
For information on the report and position across the UK contact:
Mary Maguire – Head of Press and Broadcasting -07771 548 957
Anne Mitchell – Press Officer – 07887 945 307