Child protection 'is at breaking point'

The child protection system is "beyond breaking point" and social workers are facing increasing pressures, a report for MPs by the British Association of Social Workers said.

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Social workers recommend ending unpaid overtime

The child protection system is "beyond breaking point" and social workers are facing increasing pressure, according to a report by the British Association of Social Workers.

The report for a group of MPs makes the following recommendations:

  • An end to unpaid overtime
  • Separation of social worker's electronic records and data collection
  • Exploration of improved caseload management strategies
  • A restoration of local authority car allowances
  • Ending the "hot desking" culture
  • Protection of role for social workers
  • Exploration of how to record social worker's input and achievements
  • Consideration should be given to proper recognition of restrictive working conditions
  • Guidance to encourage social work involvement in NHS patient management
  • The employer health check should be reviewed and more rigorous
  • Government should liaise with the Association of Chief Police Officers on taking action against those behind websites inciting hatred towards social workers

Read: Report 'offers insight into pressures faced by social workers'

Social worker: Volume of adoption cases is 'crippling'

A social worker specialising in adoption told an inquiry into social care by MPs that the sheer volume of work they face has had a "crippling" affect on her team.

Frontline social workers have given evidence to an All Party Parliamentary Group, talking about the daily pressures they are under and "being beyond breaking point."

Twice as many children to place, twice as many adopters, so our work has gone up fourfold. Yet I’ve had no increase in bodies to be able to do that work. I have social workers working until 8pm each night, and weekends, because they are very dedicated. They keeping adding a bit more and a bit more – it’s become crazy.

Only a tiny amount of the adopters assessment process is information gathering; most of it is therapeutic, counselling. There is a lot to process, practically and emotionally.

We accept that it takes at least nine months to prepare to be a birth parent, and 'responsible adults' start planning before conception but now we’re saying that you can take on our most traumatised children and make that journey in four months? I think that’s reckless. We also have to get to know them, to be confident what kind of child they could manage.

The thing crippling my team, and this has been the case for the past two years, is sheer volume.

– Judith Acreman

Read: MPs' report offers insight into pressures faced by social workers

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Social worker: 'There needs to be action now'

A social worker who has worked in child protection for over 30 years has told ITV News that action needs to be taken now in social care.

Frontline social workers have given evidence to an All Party Parliamentary Group, talking about the daily pressures they are under and "being beyond breaking point."

We have had report after report all calling for change but has there been any? No. There now needs to be action.

We have very dedicated staff who don't go home on a Friday night until 8pm, and even then they are taking work home – I have to kick them out, that’s not unusual. I haven’t taken a lunch break in three months.

The one overriding statement my team want me to make is ‘capacity’; there’s just not the capacity in the system and I’ve never known it like it is now – just impossible.

I would say it used to be a 30/ 70 split between admin and face to face contact now it is more like 80/20. And trying to retain staff in the backdrop of cuts and enormous pressures is so difficult. Dedicated staff just feel like giving up.

– Karen Goodman

Read: MPs' report offers insight into pressures faced by social workers

Child protection system is 'beyond breaking point'

The child protection system is "beyond breaking point" and social workers are facing increasing pressure, a report for MPs by the British Association of Social Workers has said.

The Government's plans to increase adoption speed would be unsafe and adults who need social workers' help have to be beyond critical before getting it, the report for the All Parliamentary Group on Social Care found.

Social workers' testimonies to the inquiry strongly supported evidence that frontline staff are facing rising pressures in their jobs.