Professor Eileen Munro has not been told to consider the cost of any of her recommendations children’s minister Tim Loughton has told Community Care.
Speaking after a week-long visit to Stockport, during which he shadowed frontline social workers, Loughton said: “The expense of the review remains to be seen, but she’s not been told that she has to come up with proposals that are cost-neutral.
“If she says, ‘This is what needs to be done and it’s going to cost some money’, then we will look at it and either say, ‘OK, we can do that’ or, ‘No we can’t do that now, but will look very seriously at ways to bring it about because we know it’s important.'”
He maintained that Munro’s review had “struck a chord” with the frontline social workers he had spent time with. “They particularly picked up on her point that social workers should focus on doing things right rather than the right thing.”
Munro’s concerns about the integrated children’s system also resonated. “ICS is causing big problems in Stockport. It’s in such a state that staff really tend to rely on local knowledge and back that up with checks within the computer system. Certainly they want to spend more time out with families rather than inside.”
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