Directors warn changes to children’s services in Edinburgh could worsen outcomes

Edinburgh social services’ restructuring proposals could result
in worse outcomes for children, the Association of Directors of
Social Work has warned, writes Amy

The organisation said that proposals to remove children’s
services from its location in social services was ‘possible and
even likely’ to damage outcomes for children.

Restructuring options being considered by the council include
for a new department of ‘education and children’s services’ to be
created. This would be made up from the services for children
currently provided separately by education and social work. A
separate department of social work would provide all other social

ADSW said that such a move could be damaging, as it would
increase the distance between children’s services and other support
services accessed through social work such as those for criminal
justice, mental health and disability.

It said that there is ‘little evidence’ that structural change
will result in better services.

It added that in the short term the upheaval caused and impact
on the morale of the workforce could have the reverse effect.

ADSW made the comments in a submission to the authority on its
proposals for restructuring. The restructuring follows the inquiry
report into the death of 11-week-old Caleb Ness, who was shaken to
death by his father. The report found that Caleb’s death had been
avoidable, and social work director Les McEwan later resigned.

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