4 Biggest Social Work Stories You Might Have Missed Last Week (19/09/16)...
The government has launched a new re-training scheme to fast-track former social workers back into the profession and best interest assessments are highlighting failings in local authorities care offering for vulnerable people. Read on for these stories, and more...
4. Council Social Work Staff Could Be Given Control of Children's Services
Birmingham City Council are exploring options to hand ownership of children's services for the city over to social work staff after prospective plans were drawn up for a new trust model.
Following communications with the Department for Education, the council announced that children's services would be passed onto a trust, with two possible proposed models - first, that the council would own the trust, or second, a 'workers' cooperative' would be established.
Upon the transferal of local authority staff to the mutual TUPE legislation would apply, but if the council did not have the controlling stake in the authority, it is potentially lawfully possible to change terms and conditions for workers from those currently offered.
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3. Sanctions Required Against Social Work Professionals Failing to Report FGM, Say MPs
An inquiry by the House of Commons' Home Affairs Committee has concluded that a tougher stance must be taken against social work and care professionals who fail to report female genital mutilation (FGM), including taking sanctions against them.
Published last Thursday, the committee's report raised concerns that though reporting FGM was mandatory under guidelines introduced last year, many health professionals, social workers and teachers saw reporting as optional.
Most recent figures released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre showed 5,702 newly-recorded FGM cases between April 2015 and March 2016, with the report citing a 'lamentable record' on FGM prosecution as a primary reason behind this.
2. Come Back to Social Work Scheme Launched
A new campaign has been launched by the government last week to fast-track practitioners back into the profession as a response to the nation-wide lack of experienced social workers in local authorities.
Available to former social workers who have spent between two-to-five years out of the profession, the plans consist of a 13-week pilot scheme helping 30 successful applicants with HCPC re-registration and improving practice.
If the pilot proves a success, those taking part will re-enter the profession in early 2017 - those who prove unsuccessful in their applications to join the scheme will be added to a talent pool and provided with a personal development plan and support from the government.
1. DoLS Assessments Identify Areas Where Legislation Improve Outcomes
Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) legislation is proving helpful in uncovering failures in vulnerable people's care, according to a new survey of Best Interest Assessors (BIAs).
Carried out by Edge Training in response to a Law Commission's findings that DoLS had 'failed to deliver improved outcomes for people,' the survey of 92 BIAs asked for 10 examples of positive outcomes from assessments, receiving 468 responses overall.
The most commonly reported positive outcome from the assessment was the reversal of incorrect decisions regarding whether service users had capacity to make decisions, and also showed concerns in how the Mental Capacity Act was being used in care homes and hospitals.