The government should extend the length of the new social work
degree from three years to four, according to the Association of
Directors of Social Services, writes Sally
In its submission to phase two of the Victoria Climbie inquiry
the association argues that the complexity of the task of assessing
and meeting children’s needs is not reflected in the core
training of social care staff..
ADSS president Mike Leadbetter said the level of complexity in
social work was highlighted by the mistakes made in
Victoria’s case, and he argued it was reasonable to ask
whether a three-year degree course was long enough.
The ADSS evidence also calls for students to be tested on how to
ensure a good minimum level of literacy, numeracy and the ability
to analyse, summarise and keep succinct records, all areas found
wanting during evidence to the Climbie inquiry.
The association argues that the schemes for measuring workload
in social services departments are unsophisticated, and there is no
understanding of what it is feasible for a social worker to
achieve. The assessment framework was introduced without taking
into account how long it would take to complete, the association
A pilot study should be undertaken to determine the time and
human resources needed to complete an assessment to the required