Sector experts have called for the Munro review of child protection to focus on what really needs to be improved in the current system and not just “change for change’s sake”.
Independent child protection trainer and consultant, Perdeep Gill, said she feared the review by Professor Eileen Munro of the London School of Economics, would “gloss over” the issues of high thresholds and quality of practice.
“[Based on an interview Munro did with BBC Radio 4] I predict it is more of the same family support, glossing over the issue of high thresholds. Quality of practice can’t be improved by changing the shape of the team. I think Munro is suffering a lack of scepticism.
“My plea is don’t let our most vulnerable children down. I really believed Tim Loughton and David Cameron’s commitment to really wanting to protect children –I want to see that delivered in a meaningful way.”
Gill also criticised Munro’s endorsement of the Hackney model, which has social work teams headed up by consultant social workers with extra administrative support. According to Gill, the model is too new for Munro’s panel to judge it accurately.
Shaun Kelly, head of safeguarding at Action for Children, warned: “This review should not be about change for change’s sake, but look at what works, and should be retained, within the current system and what needs to be improved.”
Children’s minister Tim Loughton, who announced the review last week, has insisted the review will focus on freeing up social workers from guidance and over-legislation.
He told journalists he would be “happy to see the social work rule book cut in half”.