Directors could lose their jobs over service failures and
bureaucracy could be increased under the new Scottish social work
inspection system, inspection chiefs have admitted.
New chief inspector of the Social Work Inspection Agency Alexis Jay
said social work directors could lose their jobs as a result of
poor inspection reports, as has happened in England.
Although the agency is not developing an English-style ratings
system, Jay, a former president of the Association of Directors of
Social Work, admitted sackings could be an outcome of negative
inspection reports in Scotland too.
She said: “It would certainly never be our intention but if we’re
focusing on management and services and there are real weaknesses,
councils will consider where things need to be improved. We can
only hope there is a proportional approach.”
Barbara Hurst, director of performance audit at Audit Scotland,
feared the new joint inspection process would make social work
professionals feel burdened with more bureaucracy. “That’s why it
is important for the inspectorates to join up so we share each
other’s programmes and are not blitzing councils at the same time.
We need to be clever at using each other’s skills effectively.”
Jacquie Roberts, chief executive of the Scottish Care Commission,
agreed that more integration among inspectorates was the answer to
reducing the burden on councils but warned it had to be seen in the
context of improving services.
“Some people’s bureaucracy is other people’s protection,” she