The primary social worker involved in the Khyra Ishaq case had a workload of 50 allocated cases, according to the full version of the serious case review.
While the author of the SCR labelled it “excessive” in the report, social workers have called it “completely unimaginable” and “immoral”.
“That’s absolutely shocking,” said Nushra Mansuri, joint manager for the British Association of Social Workers in England. “We talk about caseloads of 20 being unrealistic, so it’s completely unimaginable what 50 at a time would be like.
“There’s no way a social worker could keep track of all the details of that many cases – it’s so risky to have that situation in children’s services.”
A social worker on CareSpace, Community Care‘s online forum, called it “an immoral caseload”. Long Gone criticised the report for failing to make a single recommendation on caseloads, adding: “Until reasonable requests are made of social workers, SCRs will continue to be a voyeur’s paradise with no learning taking place.”
Earlier this month, Birmingham’s children’s social care executive member Len Clark said the council had already reduced caseloads by one-third by transferring child-in-need cases to new family support teams. However, frontline social workers, again on CareSpace, disagree.
“You might think that Birmingham had some new family support teams, but there aren’t any. So no, nobody’s caseload has been ‘reduced by a third’ because the truth of the matter is that there is no-one to transfer the cases to,” a CareSpace user wrote.
Birmingham council has yet to respond to Community Care‘s requests for further information about the current average caseloads in children’s services and whether any social worker still has as many as 50 allocated cases.
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