Eight children on child protection plans in
One children’s services team had allocated 35 active cases to the team manager, the watchdog found, eight of which involved child protection.
“All the day-to-day work on these eight cases is carried out by unqualified staff or staff who are not yet registered as social workers,” the report said. “This practice falls well below expected standards and may place children at risk of inadequate protection.”
The situation puts council staff at risk as well as vulnerable children, according to Nushra Mansuri, joint manager of the British Association of Social Workers in
“The council should not be putting unqualified staff in this position,” she told Community Care. “I mean no disrespect to these practitioners, who are an asset to children’s services, but this isn’t their job and they should not be asked to do it. By giving them this responsibility, the council is putting these employees at risk as well as any children concerned.”
Mansuri added that the practice threw into question the council’s attitude to child protection.
“The question this inevitably leads to is, ‘Well, how much value is being placed on these children?’ There needs to be more outcry around this. A few years ago people were talking about how terrible it was that some teachers had a class of more than 30 pupils. There was a lot of publicity around the issue and it worked – we have seen that situation change. Social workers should be speaking out in the same way.”
A spokesman from
“In 2008 the County Council’s Cabinet demonstrated their commitment to protecting children by making available additional investment of £3.8million to recruit additional workers,” he said. “Over the past two years, that funding has helped to recruit 73 new social workers, 60 family support practitioners and four senior practitioners to the
“Ofsted recognised effective work in a number of teams in the county that is improving outcomes for individual children. This work is being roll out across the county over the coming months.”
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