Government urged to act on child protection crisis
Commenting on Cafcass figures showing that the number of local council care applications has passed 10,000 for the first time, Sue Kent, professional officer British Association of Social Workers, said:
“Child protection work is facing a major crisis, soaring referrals yet a government agenda of cuts preventing social workers from doing their jobs properly.
“Our members report that the majority of their time is being spent on paperwork, rather than with the children they are hoping to protect, as the admin staff in their team have disappeared.
“The government has trumpeted about protecting frontline social workers from being made redundant, yet by axing support staff it has simply turned social workers into administrators.
“Spending on preventative services is also being cut, so rather than intervening with families who are struggling at an early stage, they are being allowed to flounder until the care system has to intervene to protect the children.
“Contrary to the conspiracy theorists spreading dangerous myths about social workers, social workers do not have an inbuilt agenda to remove children from their homes.
“Removing a child from their family should always be a last resort, and it is heart-breaking to consider that while families may need support, there is simply not the funding and resources there to give them chance to change.
“We urge the government to wake up and help a situation that is of their making. If things don’t improve, they will see a major exodus of social workers leaving the profession, as they are facing increasing and intolerable pressure”.