4 Biggest Social Work Stories You Might Have Missed Last Week (06/06/16)...
Ofsted will report more frequently on 'inadequate'-rated councils, and social work experts have slammed last week's Channel 4 Dispatches documentary that went undercover inside Birmingham Council's Children's Services. Read on for more...
4. Youth Justice Board to Bid for Government's £200 Social Care Innovation Fund
The Youth Justice Board has implored other organisations to partner up with it in an effort to secure cash from the Department for Education's social care innovation fund.
In their monthly bulletin, the YJB expressed their interest in supporting partners including local authorities, third sector or private sector organisations who could make innovative proposals to improve delivery in youth justice.
The announcement was made on the back of recent cuts to youth offending teams, which have had their budgets reduced by 12% for 2016/17, dropping £9.1m from £76.1m, leaving the initiative with £67 million for the next financial year.
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3. 'Partners in Practice' Authorities Will Face New Children's Service Accreditation Tests First
Newly-qualified social workers at the eight 'Partner in Practice' authorities will trial the new accreditation systems previously announced in the Queen's Speech last month as part of plans to roll out the initiative across whole workforces.
NQSWs at eight Children's Services departments across the country - Cambridgeshire, Hampshire, Achieving for Children, Leeds, Lincolnshire, North Yorkshire, Islington and the London Tri-borough - are expected to make themselves available for accreditation as part of their assessed and supported year.
According to Chief Children's Social Worker Isabelle Trowler, the above authorities were chosen as they are the 'best performing' authorities in England - the accreditation process had previously been trialed by 1000 practitioners across the country.
2. Oftsed Will Publish More Reports on 'Inadequate'-Rated Local Authorities
Ofsted has announced they will publish reports more regularly on local authorities they have previously rated 'inadequate' in order to monitor their improvement.
The move is a response to the Inspectorate's own consultation into inspections of inadequate councils and decided such authorities will be inspected quarterly, so Ofsted do not have to rely on third-party assessments from the council or Department for Education.
According to the organisation, while the first follow-on inspection will not be published, all subsequent ones will, and a re-inspection plan proportional to the council's inadequacies found in previous inspections will be instated.
1. Sector Experts Blast Channel 4 Dispatches Social Work Documentary
The Principal Children and Families Network have criticised a Channel 4 Dispatches documentary which secretly filmed day-to-day work at Birmingham City Council as misleading and failing 'to address the wider impact of societal issues' on the profession.
In a joint-written article in Community Care
, the organisation's chair Mandy Nightingale and vice chair Lee Pardy-McLaughlin argued that the documentary failed to take account of increasing poverty, rising numbers of care proceedings court applications, funding cuts and media vilification of social workers.
Both went on to acknowledge that while there were faults in social services, they did not believe undercover reporting was the way forward and blasted the social worker who covertly filmed, saying such an action was 'a betrayal of trust of colleagues.'