The new Children’s Minister, Robert Goodwill, seemed to have started off not too badly last week by making what seemed to be quite a sensible decision to scale back substantially the Government’s ill-starred plans for the accreditation of children’s social workers.
Of course, he could have made an even more sensible decision – to abolish the scheme altogether. As far as I am concerned there are no reasons at all for saving an initiative which has so little to commend it that one wonders whoever thought it up.
Sadly, Mr Goodwill went on the very next day to blot his copybook and prove himself not to be a very effective ‘new broom’. Having been reported on 6th July as saying that the analysis of the recent consultation had led his department to change fundamentally its plans for accreditation, he was then reported on 7th July as saying that he had spoken to a lot of social workers in the last four weeks and that he had formed the impression that they were “up for it”. The accreditation scheme, he said, was all about recognising the professionalism of social workers and he now presented the proposed scaling-back as just an adjustment to the implementation timetable.
Maybe he was got at overnight by some person or persons who remain intent on pushing ahead with the scheme in all its awfulness no matter what anybody says. Maybe he is just finding his new brief confusing. In the meantime, children’s social work is threatened by yet another poorly thought out policy. It’s all very, very sad.