Inspectors find staff morale and stress problems at Haringey

Low staff morale and stress at the frontline remain serious
problems for Haringey council’s children’s services despite
improvements over the last two years, a new Social Services
Inspectorate report shows.

All child protection and looked-after children’s cases
were allocated when the inspectors returned in February 2002 to
assess improvements made since the critical review of June 2000,
but there were continuing difficulties in meeting statutory targets
on reviews and visits.

In addition, family support services for families with children
in need remained poorly developed and under resourced, and
inspectors reported that social workers used a “relatively
restricted palette of interventions that reflected the lack of
local resources and the relative inexperience of social workers and
their high turnover”.

Frontline staff complained of a lack of support and a “blame
culture”, similar to that referred to by council witnesses at the
public inquiry into the death of Victoria Climbie in February

“Social workers and frontline managers complained of high levels
of stress and there were obvious tensions between them and senior
management,” the report concludes.

Haringey council has acknowledged there are still areas of
weakness to address, and has drawn up an action plan including a
new package of measures covering pay and benefits, a new family
support service in Tottenham, and new child protection

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