Scandals in children’s services have created a situation where staff use a lot of their time putting information into computers about children at the expense of spending time with them.
Shadow spokesperson for children Tim Loughton told delegates at the annual National Children and Adult Services conference in Brighton that high-profile cases had created a risk averse culture.
“We need to be able to treat people more as individuals and take more risks. We need to allow social workers to move away from manuals and paperwork,” citing the Finnish model of pedagoguey that allows workers to treat each child as an individual.
Loughton said there was too much overlap and repetition with Criminal Records Bureau checks and people could find themselves subjected to multiple checks.
“Too many people are put off volunteering at a time when we need to have more people coming forward. The pendulum has swung too far the other way. We need to streamline the system.”
Later, he said that there needed to be a level playing field between social services and the NHS. While the health service had enjoyed consistent investment “yet again social services have seen little of the jam but are having their pips squeezed now”.
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