Tories say directors must ensure safety of frontline social workers

Pic. Tom Parkes

The shadow children’s minister today criticised employers for failing to take measures to protect frontline social workers.

Tim Loughton said he had been with social workers on the frontline and had been shocked to discover that they were not given mobile phones, despite working in dangerous situations.

He added that it should be normal for directors of children’s services to regularly spend time on the frontline.

Reasons for leaving

While there were moves to encourage those who had left social work back into the profession not enough was done to address their reasons for leaving in the first place, he told delegates at a Local Government Association conference in London on the Laming Review.

Earlier this month, the LGA launched a campaign to encourage people to return to social work.

Bureaucratic burden

Loughton said the recommendations in Laming’s report would add more to the bureaucratic burden for councils that have worked to “the wrong and too many performance indicators for many years”.

Earlier, the president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, Maggie Atkinson, said the public needed to be persuaded that Every Child Matters was the right framework and there would be a challenge to “restore faith in and the morale of frontline staff”.

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