The 21st Century Review of Social Work is to turn to the fire
service for inspiration on developing a more prevention-focused
approach to delivering social services.
Review chair Willy Roe told the conference that the fire service
had developed a system that mapped the types of homes and
businesses most at risk of fires. This had enabled it to direct
more of its efforts into educating people on prevention.
Roe said: “We are going to look at that example to see if social
work can use mapping and intelligence to see where the risks and
interventions of the future might be.”
He added there was a consensus in the sector that the balance
between early intervention and crisis services was not right. “I
hear it from social workers, managers, users and carers,” he
Roe explained that greater focus on prevention would meet the
growing demand on services due to an increase in social problems,
increased awareness of these problems, demographic changes and more
vulnerable people living in the community.
He said: “If the numbers continue like this they will go through
the top of the chart. Are these growths inevitable or are there
things in society we can do to turn the tide?”