It’s critical we begin extending and accelerating reforms to the quality of children’s social work practice and leadership. The need to ‘upskill’ the social work profession and the work we do with partners is paramount.
When a proposal was made in 2014 that accredited standards for social work would be introduced by the Department of Education through the Chief Social Worker for England, I saw real potential for promoting social work excellence in children’s services.
This is the second blog in our series on the Early Help Offer, as an addition to universal preventative services for children and troubled families.
Back in 2011 Professor Eileen Munro recommended that the government place a statutory duty on local authorities and their partners to ensure enough early intervention services were in place.
Children and young people are often the most vulnerable members of our communities with local authorities and their partners providing social care support to those experiencing the highest levels of problems.
Nevertheless, it is important that all partners and communities provide effective and co-ordinated help and support to children and their families at the earliest opportunity, to prevent them from having to experience such difficulties and related distress in the first place. The Early Help and Troubled Families programmes (see below) are considered to be dynamic connections to the multiagency safeguarding hub (MASH).
When the multiagency safeguarding hub (MASH) receives a contact, the MASH screening officers for social care first check if the child already has a social worker. If there is an allocated social worker, they are considered to be the best person to support the child, so the case is referred directly to them.
When I read a BBC article about Violence against Women recently I was alarmed about the increase in prosecutions in 2014/2015. It said that A Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) report in June 2015 showed more than 107,000 prosecutions in the year to April. An increase of 16,000 (18%) on the previous year. The figures are for crimes “primarily” against women, but male victims are also included.”
Over the years the social work profession has seen many changes, not just in the way the profession is structured but in law, policy and procedures.
Most things are socially defined by what people say or do, or how they are in their social groups and teams.
Through the eyes of a child, all professionals “are all simply adults with authority”. They do not necessarily see or understand professional training, status, qualifications or experience. They also do not necessarily understand the complexities involved in keeping them safe from harm or support delivered through partnership arrangements.
In the UK and internationally the face of public services has changed dramatically in the past three decades. This is as a result of political beliefs and fast moving government policies that impact on provision in the wake of the financial crisis.
When three teenage girls flew to Syria to join Islamic State earlier this year, there was a lot of soul searching across the UK.
Newspapers claimed Britain was losing the battle to stop extremists radicalising young people online through chat rooms and social media networks.