Friday, 4 June 2010

Continued Reliance on Temporary Staff

A survey from BASW published this week reveals continuing dependence on temporary and agency social workers in child protection teams. Apparently only 5% of child protection social workers surveyed said their team was fully staffed with permanent social workers. More than 60% said that their department was understaffed and 13% reported that their team was under-staffed by 50% or more. ( )

Continued dependence on agency staff and other temporary workers to provide child protection services is a major concern. Providing safe high quality services requires stable teams of experienced workers. And children and young people, some of whom may be looked after, are entitled to have consistent and long-standing relationships with social workers that they can learn to trust.

Serious staffing problems in child protection began in the mid-1990s and have not been seriously and effectively addressed. Urgent attention to this problem must now be a priority for the new Government.