Paperwork hinders Scottish social workers

The chair of the 21st Century Review of Social Work in Scotland
has said excessive paperwork is restricting the autonomy of
front-line social workers.

Specialist public sector management consultant Willy Roe, who is
heading the review for the Scottish executive, said burdensome
bureaucracy tended to exist in “systems where there
isn’t a lot of trust”.

Roe said the bureaucracy is used to control the actions of
people. But he said the way to overcome it was “by empowering
people at the front line to take more responsibility and account
for their decisions.”

But writing in the review’s May newsletter, North Ayrshire
social work director Bernadette Docherty, who chairs the
review’s social worker subgroup, said some paperwork while
“onerous” was “absolutely necessary” and
that most form-filling was in response to government requirements
for information.

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