Unison raises cash fears in Edinburgh

The Scottish executive must provide more funding to enable councils
to find suitable placements for at-risk children, a report due out
soon will say.

The Unison study canvassed Edinburgh social workers on action taken
since the report two years ago into the death of baby Caleb Ness,
who was killed by his father. The shortfall in funding will be one
of its main findings.

John Stevenson, Unison Edinburgh’s branch secretary, called for the
executive to reassess how much it allocates to social work
departments to spend on residential child care.

He said: “There’s no greater demoralisation for a social worker
than to assess a child in need, then find there’s no place to put

But he was more positive about other action taken since the Caleb
Ness inquiry. He praised the creation of a children and families
department in Edinburgh because staff had been fully consulted
about changes. The department has just gone live and combines
education and children’s social work services.

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