Children’s secretary Ed Balls said his department would spend £73m on developing children’s social workers over the next three years.
Announcing a workforce plan to take forward the government’s 10-year Children’s Plan, launched in December, Balls quantified the investment the Department of Children, Schools and Families would make in a range of training and development programmes for children’s practitioners.
These were announced in last July’s looked-after children’s white paper, Care Matters – Time for Change, and the Children’s Plan.
These include three-year pilots, worth £21m, to trial newly-qualified social worker status from September 2008, providing supported induction and protected caseloads for around 1,000 practitioners. Other pilot programmes include a fast-track route into social work for mature graduates.
Balls also produced consultative guidance on strengthening the framework governing children’s trusts, the commissioning partnerships introduced as part of the Every Child Matters agenda which do not have statutory status.
Balls said this was necessary to ensure the ambitions of the Children’s Plan were delivered consistently across England.