£44m boost for children’s social work teams in England

Children's social work teams across England will receive £44m in 2011-12 to help reduce pressure on frontline staff, children's secretary Michael Gove has announced.

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Children’s social work teams across England will receive £44m in 2011-12 to help reduce pressure on frontline staff, children’s secretary Michael Gove has announced.

The Social Work Improvement Fund for local authority children’s services has almost doubled from £23m in 2010-11, despite recent spending cuts.

Gove has tasked the Children’s Workforce Development Council with distributing the funding as part of its final remit ahead of losing government funding in early 2012.

After that, the CWDC will lose its status as a non-departmental public body and its core functions will be absorbed into the Department for Education.

In a letter to Paul Ennals, chair of the CWDC, on 28 March, Gove revealed the skills body would receive £79.9m in 2011-12 towards social work reform.

At least £43.9m will be allocated to the improvement fund and the rest will go towards continuing the CWDC’s social work programmes, including:

● The Step Up to Social Work scheme

● The Return to Social Work programme

● Support for newly qualified social workers

● Professional development programme for social workers in their second and third years of employment

● Developing an advanced social work professional role

“Continuing to evaluate the impact of all these programmes remains a priority,” wrote Gove.

The CWDC will also be expected to continue supporting the Social Work Reform Board and helping local authorities and others to respond to Professor Eileen Munro’s review of child protection.

Gove said the £79.9m funding would be reviewed following Munro’s final report, expected in April.

Read Gove’s final remit letter to the CWDC

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