Slow gains in Haringey services

Despite some improvements in Haringey’s children’s services over
the past two years, staff morale remains low and stress at the
frontline high, a new Social Services Inspectorate report

Although all child protection and looked-after children’s cases
were allocated when inspectors returned in February 2002 to assess
improvements made since the critical review of June 2000, 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”.

Front-line staff complained of a lack of support and a “blame
culture”, similar to that referred to by council witnesses to the
public inquiry into the death of Victoria Climbie‚ in
February 2000.

Haringey Council has acknowledged there are still areas of
weakness and has drawn up action plans in response to each area of
concern, including a new family support service in Tottenham, and
the launch of child protection procedures to improve inter-agency

Councillor Takki Sulaiman, executive member for social services
and health at Haringey, said: “This report confirms the significant
progress we have made over the past two years. A key priority for
us will be to develop preventive services that support families
before they reach crisis point.”

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