Saturday, 23 December 2017

A wicked waste of money

Community Care reports that the Government has spent £11.22 million (yes, more than £11 million) on developing the children’s social worker accreditation tests of which £8.52 million went to private companies.

The recent consultation showed a very lukewarm response to the proposals and what I have seen of the tests themselves is pretty dismal.

How anybody can think that this kind of thing can be justified at a time when spending cuts mean that there are insufficient funds to meet ever increasing demand is beyond me.

A wicked waste of money – that’s what I’d call it.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Fiddling while Rome burns

In England, section 47 of the 1989 Children Act requires local authorities to carry out ‘enquiries’ (investigations) where they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child who lives, or is found, in their area is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm.

This week, the Local Government Association (LGA) reports that in 2017 500 such enquiries were carried out every day.

The Association’s press release also reminds us that in 2007 the corresponding figure was just 200 investigations per day.

So, the workload of local authorities in England has more than doubled in the last ten years.

Very rightly, the LGA is calling for the Government to use the upcoming Local Government Finance Settlement to resolve the £2billion funding gap that is facing children’s services in England.

Bizarrely ministers seem relatively unperturbed by what by what can only be described as a profound crisis. 

“Fiddling while Rome burns” is a phrase that comes to mind.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

The stark reality of the looming crisis in child protection in England

An article in today’s Observer makes grim reading.

It succinctly details the funding pressures on English local authorities with respect to child protection services. It starkly details how a combination of rising demand and shrinking funding is precipitating a crisis. It observes that the impact of unfavourable Ofsted inspections exacerbates the problems of struggling councils rather than helps them to improve.

There’s nothing new here. Anybody with knowledge of the sector will not be surprised to read any of that. But the article pulls things together very nicely, presenting a sharply focused and daunting picture of an impending disaster.

It is a must-read.