Ofsted Warns of 'Unmanageable' Social Work Caseloads
Ofsted has warned social workers that their caseloads are 'too high' and must be tackled in order to improve poorly-performing authorities.
The inspectorate warned that overbearing workload burdens were preventing social workers from engaging with children in their duties, and that council leadership needed to create environments where they could flourish.
"When social workers work for good leaders and managers, they work in an environment where they feel fully supported," the report said.
"Because of the way that leaders and managers behave, staff feel confident - a culture of openness and transparency means that social workers feel more responsible as well as more able to reflect.
"Social workers need time to spend with the children and families on their case list. They need a place of work that makes it possible for them to exercise their profession at the highest level. They need managers who trust and challenge them in equal measure."
Ofsted's comments came after the inspectorate publishing its social care annual report yesterday, revealing that caseload levels were a common concern in the 14 councils they had inspected since January.
The body has now inspected half of all English local authorities under the tougher single inspection framework and is expected to have inspected the other half by the end off 2017.
Its report was published alongside a consultation document that proposed changing the way services are inspected, requesting feedback and views on a new common inspection framework that will potentially be used for all social care inspections.
The consultation - which closes on September 9th - will also explore whether to take a tiered approach on adjusting the intensity of inspections in accordance with a council's past performance.
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