Leadership scrutiny helping develop better social work practice in council, Ofsted says

Social work practice in MASH team at London council benefitting from 'innovations to secure a more stable workforce'

Leader Illustration
Illustration: Fotolia/mmustafabozdemir

Scrutiny from senior leadership is helping “better quality social work practice” to be embedded in a children’s services’ front door team, inspectors have said.

The focused visit of the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) in Barking and Dagenham found “sound social work practice” in both the MASH and assessment service, which had benefitted from “innovative actions to secure a more stable workforce”.

The service was rated ‘requires improvement’ overall in 2014, and inspectors found since then the MASH had been reconfigured and “works effectively to safeguard children”.

Inspectors said the senior leadership knew the service well, and there was strong corporate leadership to improve services, and the scrutiny “enables better quality social work practice to embed”.

“Previous areas of concern within the MASH and assessment service have been tackled effectively.”

Recruitment and retention

Improvements in recruiting and retaining social workers were said to be beginning to “stabilise the workforce, enabling more consistency in social work practice, and fewer changes of social workers for children.”

Staff reported being happy to work in Barking and Dagenham, where there was a “supportive culture, open access to management advice and appropriate training available”.

While management oversight was well embedded in the MASH, it was more variable in the assessment service, and Ofsted said the council needed to improve the supervision of case work being recorded.

It added that the use of qualitative information and auditing had not yet begun to drive and monitor practice improvements, and the quality of referrals from partner agencies weren’t always comprehensive enough.

2 Responses to Leadership scrutiny helping develop better social work practice in council, Ofsted says

  1. Chan April 6, 2018 at 9:40 pm #

    What is the innovation?

  2. Sw111 April 9, 2018 at 3:18 pm #

    Ofsted stated that the council needed to improve on recording of case supervision – supervision can be so one sided, imbalanced where the supervisor can justify caseloads. It is for the benefit of the supervisor who covers her/himself by allocating multiple tasks to the workers without taking into consideration work life balance issue, support factor or any other issue.
    Supervisor would not bother about any issue that does not concern the supervisor.