Given that GP-style practices in social work were supposed to result in more highly motivated social workers and better outcomes for looked-after children, the initial display of interest in piloting the scheme has been sluggish to say the least.
Just 17 councils have put themselves forward for the nine social work practices the government proposes to pilot from next summer. Others probably remain to be convinced that practices are the answer to the poor outcomes still experienced by many children in care. There is no doubt that the pilots have a great deal to prove.
Their co-inventor, Professor Julian Le Grand, has suggested that the idea could be extended to adult services. Let’s wait and see whether they work for children first.
This article is published in the 16 October 2008 edition of Community Care under the headline “Pilots fail to enthuse”