The government is looking for social workers to join an expert panel designed to help reform the Integrated Children’s System to ensure it supports rather than hinders practitioners.
The Department for Children, Schools and Families wants 30 social work practitioners and managers to join the panel, which will be led by Wokingham Council’s assistant director of children’s services, Steve Liddicott.
Following a critical report by the Social Work Task Force in May, the DCSF pledged to give councils more flexibility in developing IT systems for recording children’s social care cases and remove national requirements under the ICS.
Not helpful to practitioners
The taskforce report had echoed previous criticisms of the ICS in saying that national requirements had “mandated a model of practice” that practitioners did not see as helpful and that could get in the way of assessing children and family’s needs.
The expert panel will consider how ICS can be reformed and consider issues from a practitioner’s perspective, including by assessing the usability of ICS systems and making recommendations for improvements to support effective social work practice.
Members should have “significant experience of ICS” and “a sound understanding of the legal and good practice foundations of social work practice for children”.
Range of experience
It wants at least one member from each English region, at least one independent social worker and a mixture of assistant directors, managers, frontline practitioners and ICS project managers.
Members should be available to attend three or four meetings, with their line managers’ consent.
The closing date for applications is the end of Wednesday, 26 August.