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BASW's Bridget Robb - children's needs being lost in a target-driven culture

BASW has welcomed Peter Hay's call to Birmingham councillors for an “honest culture” within the council’s child protection services.

Mr Hay, director of adult services at Birmingham City Council has taken on responsibility for children’s services following the departure of Peter Duxbury.

In a presentation last month, Mr Hay admitted “The immediate position is unsafe for children and needs immediate action”. He also said that frontline social workers were not to blame for the problems in the department and a considerable amount of “great work” was going on.

Speaking to the BBC, BASW Chief Executive Bridget Robb praised Mr Hay for his honesty, commenting: “I think it will be very hard for people to hear that, because we all want children to be safe, it is very uncomfortable for us to hear that they can't be. But if you don't start with the realities then you can’t change things.

Ms Robb said she hoped that the disclosure would signal a sea change in residents’ attitudes towards the department, saying “Hopefully now that these comments have been made, people around the city, not just in the local authority, not just in social work, can think what can we all do to try and change the situation for the children.”

The challenges facing the child protection system have again been highlighted by media analysis of the tragic death of Coventry four year old Daniel Pelka. BASW’s latest Huffington Post blog takes a closer look at the Government’s claim that the system is improving, despite one in four local authorities currently being rated “inadequate” by Ofsted.

Bridget Robb comments “"the needs of children are being lost in a target-driven culture; this makes us wonder if the good work proposed by Munro is simply being swept aside".

To read BASW’s latest Huffington Post blog Government Spin Alone Won't Protect Our Children click here