Laura Sharman 03 November 2016

Social workers reject 'unsafe' reforms

Social workers reject unsafe reforms image

Plans to allow councils to set up social work trusts could prove dangerous for children, according to a new report from Unison.

A survey of practising social workers by the trade union found only 1% backed the proposed reform t the delivery of children's social care.

Unison said the reforms failed to tackle the fundamental problems faced by social workers such as high caseload levels, a lack of resources and a high turnover of staff.

'The proposals mean there would be no national system for looking after children at risk,' said unison general secretary, Dave Prentis. 'Whether children get the care they deserve could depend on their postcode, rather than the legal protections hammered out over decades.

'The safety of our children is one of the most important responsibilities of government. But these plans show painful lessons from the past have been forgotten by ministers who are now prepared to withdraw essential protection from those least able to help themselves.'

The report said social work trusts would exempt them from some legal duties and would see children's care driven by the market rather than need.

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Councils and their partners could do even more to contain the spread of COVID-19 if properly funded to undertake a robust localised system of testing, tracking and tracing, argues Professor Donna Hall.
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