A local authority is planning to introduce a “caseload threshold guarantee” for children’s social workers under a £4m reform package to improve support for young people.
Walsall council is proposing capping social work caseloads at 15 for experienced social workers and 12 for newly qualified practitioners.
The council said the move would enable social workers “to work more intensively with children who are looked after to support maintaining them safely at home and promoting placement stability when they are looked after.”
The authority also wants to introduce a restorative practice approach in services and recruit more in-house foster carers to cut reliance on independent fostering agencies.
The plans are set out in the council’s budget consultation. The council believes the £4.13 million investment will generate nearly a million pounds in annual savings by 2019/20.
Alongside these proposals are reforms to contact support that will see the council introduce a toolkit for social workers to use when assessing and making contact arrangements for looked-after children going through the court process.
The move “will be a key driver to safely reducing the demand for supervised contact” and save up to £64,000, the council said.
Consultation on the full budget and savings proposals is open until 9 December 2016.