4 Biggest Social Work Stories You Might Have Missed Last Week (25/07/16)...
The head of Ofsted has criticised children's services directors and the seniority of the care minister's role has been reduced in the recent cabinet reshuffle. Read on for more...
4. Government Care Minister Role's Seniority Downgraded
The seniority of the social care minister has been reduced during new Prime Minister Theresa May's cabinet reshuffle.
The adult social care brief was previously overseen in a minister of state position - which was held by Alistair Burt - but will now be presided over by parliamentary under-secretary of state for community health and care Alistair Burt.
Upgraded to Minister of State in 2008, the adult social care brief has been handled in a junior minister capacity by five previous incumbents - the Conservatives' Burt, Liberal Democrats Paul Burstow and Norman Lamb, and Labour's Paul Hope.
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3. Drive to Complete Care Proceedings Leading to Rushed Assessments, Says Research
The need to quickly finish care proceedings as set out in the Public Law Outline has led to poorer assessments due to social workers are not given enough time to ensure they are of good quality, says research.
A report published by the Department for Education points out that some family courts are making it challenging for social workers to demonstrate their evidence due to courts setting time limits for care case disposal significantly below the PLO's 26-week guideline.
This 26-week timescale first came into force in 2014 as an ongoing effort to reduce care proceeding completion dates, which stood at 56 weeks as early as 2011.
2. Ofsted Chief Criticises Children's Services Directors
Head of Ofsted Michael Wilshaw has criticised children's services directors for a lack of focus and their spending practices when speaking to the education select committee last Thursday.
Wilshaw, who steps down from his post in December, said that while ensuring good-quality services was a 'matter of common sense,' many directors are getting it consistently wrong, citing issues such as focusing on out-of-authority cases a huge factor in this.
He went on to say that the fact three quarters of authoritative surveyed by the inspectorate recieved 'inadequate' or 'requires improvement' rating was unacceptable, and that this performance was a 'leadership issue.'
1. Children Could Be More Unsafe if Child Abuse Reporting Law Changes, Says Government
The government has stated that changing current law in order to require practitioners and organisations to report child abuse or neglect may result in children becoming more unsafe.
Consultations into the matter launched last Thursday, with the government's document stating that introducing mandatory reporting may cause a rise in unsubstantiated referrals.
It went on to say that these unsubstantiated referrals will take resources and support away from actual child abuse and neglect victims, and impact investigations into potential cases.