Tuesday, 13 August 2013

A new guide to implementing Munro

Just as I was beginning – in my previous post - a lament for the Munro Review, a notification of a publication was arriving in my email in-box that seems to indicate that rumours of the demise of the review’s influence may be premature. Even if the government has gone cold on Munro there are some who still appear to be keeping a torch burning.

The document in question is Social Work Associate Practice Programme A Children’sImprovement Board Reference Document, published by the LGA, SOLACE and ADCS.

The introduction explains that following a decision by the DfE to withdraw funding from the Children’s Improvement Board it has been decided that the guide would be published by the three organisations mentioned in the preceding paragraph.

The document is 166 pages long, so I won’t be commenting in detail at this stage, but it is worth noting that the introduction identifies two main aims: 
  • To help frontline managers understand the tasks they are being asked to undertake and to help them understand how they will go about 
  • To help organisations create the conditions to support frontline managers in this role.
The starting point appears to be Munro’s aspiration in her final report: 

“This is an opportunity not to set the ‘right’ system in stone, but to build an adaptive, learning system which can evolve as needs and conditions change. It is only by seeking well balanced flexibility that the system can hope to retain its focus on helping children and families, rather than simply coming to serve its own bureaucratic ends.” Munro (2011) 

That seems all well and good, but my heart began to sink a little as I began to skim the 166 pages of the Social Work Associate Practice Programme document. It seemed to be introducing large numbers of new ideas and jargon at an alarming rate. It calls itself  ‘a reference document’ so I guess that may be OK, but I’ll let you know when I’ve got to the end, which may be some time!