Social work shake-up plan

By a County Press reporter

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

 

A PROPOSED shake-up of children's services could see the number of social workers increased and senior management roles slashed.

Hampshire County Council, which took control of Isle of Wight services following a damning Ofsted report which found children were at risk of harm, has put forward a series of proposals to restructure the department.

They include increasing the number of social workers by 50 per cent, from 32 to 48 posts, increasing other frontline positions by 28 per cent and reducing the numbers of senior managers by 40 per cent.

Further plans include dropping the Reclaiming Social Work Model — heralded as a revolutionary way forward when it was introduced just two years ago — bringing in new services for children leaving care or at risk of being placed in care, recruiting more foster carers and adopters and establishing a central point of contact for all social care professionals and the public.

It is hoped the restructure, which would be delivered within existing budgets, would ensure children were better protected and social workers would have smaller caseloads with improved managerial guidance.

Isle of Wight Council cabinet member for children's services Cllr Richard Priest said: "I welcome these proposals which are aimed at addressing the problems that have been evident in our child protection system.

"It is a full and proper consultation and if there are ways in which we can improve the proposals we will be pleased to listen to those ideas."

The consultation with staff will run until October 23, after which final decisions will be made and staff appointed.

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