Blackburn with Darwen Council social workers’ warning of ‘dire state’ of profession (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Blackburn with Darwen Council social workers’ warning of ‘dire state’ of profession
SOCIAL workers have issued a stark warning about the “dire” state of the profession nearly five years after the death of Baby P.
Service cuts, increased case-loads and social workers spending time on paper work rather than spending time with vulnerable children and adults have been highlighted in a report by the British Association of Social Workers.
Coun Maureen Bateson, Blackburn with Darwen Council's executive member for children's services, said the council agreed with the survey and that there were many challenges it continues to face.
But Lancashire County Council said that the picture painted by the survey was not one it recognised.
Coun Bateson said: “Our social workers continue to work under pressure with increasing numbers of referrals to social services – against a backdrop of the borough being one of the 10 per cent most deprived councils in England and suffering large scale Government cuts.
"This is not something we expect to get easier as we are worried about how some of the benefit changes will impact on some of our families who are already struggling to cope.”
Ann Pennell, Lancashire County Council's director with responsibility for children's social care, said: “In Lancashire, no front-line childcare social worker posts have been cut, in fact we have increased numbers slightly.
“This year's Ofsted inspection report on child protection work in Lancashire said that when children are identified as being at risk, intervention is swift and well-handled.
“And that there are enough social workers to meet rising demand.”
Former social worker Hilton Dawson, chief executive of the association, said: “We are going to send the survey to every chief executive of all the councils in England and ask their for their feedback.
“I would say they, generally, Blackburn with Darwen has had a good reputation for social work and its social workers.”