In his typically divisive style, education secretary Michael Gove has shared his vision for child protection social work, grandstanding about outsourcing and issuing what must feel like threats to under-resourced and over-stretched child protection teams.
His speech yesterday – as social work professor Harry Ferguson has already pointed out – conveniently lacked any recognition of how his government’s cuts are impacting on the already tough tasks expected of child protection teams around the country.
As you’ll know, we’ve been running a child protection survey, which is already showing the devastating impact budget cuts are having on child protection social work. Now, more than ever, it’s vital that you let Michael Gove and his government know the true impact that cuts are having on your work and the welfare of children and families. So please make your voice heard and fill in this short survey.
Here are just a few examples of how social workers who responded to our survey are struggling to protect children as a result of cuts.
“In my team, support services are being cut and inexperienced workers are being put on high risk cases they can’t cope with.”
“Staffing levels have been reduced to breaking point, there are constant restructures in an attempt to squeeze more savings and support services are failing because of the cuts. HR, IT, finance and adult services are all providing reduced services and causing us more work.”
“The system is strained to the point of breaking. Social workers are working every weekend to stay on top of paperwork.”
“Non-statutory support services for looked-after children and children in need are being reduced, which threatens their future being safeguarded. It is not good enough to merely keep young people away from those who cause them harm, they must be supported to achieve, bearing in mind they often need more support to achieve a positive future.”