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 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

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