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BASW: Birmingham needs supportive critical friends not more condemnation

As Birmingham City Council unveiled its strategy to improve services for children and young people, BASW called on the Government and its team of advisors sent in to the local authority to support Birmingham's attempts to move forward.

The council considered five options for the future including breaking children’s services up into different areas of the city but has expressed a preference for an “integrated transformation model” involving partnership with different agencies.
 
The proposals went to cabinet on 16 December 2013. Commenting on the proposed integration model, Maris Stratulis, England Manager at The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) said:
 
“We will be interested to see how this plan to bring different services closer together develops and if it will include health, police, social care and an early help offer to families. For example, health visitors could be based within child protection teams focussing on the health and development of young children.
 
“We know from Serious Case Reviews across the country that a lack of communication, information sharing and partnership between different agencies have been key themes.
 
“It is also important to consider how this developing model will sit alongside the work of the three government advisers who will be reporting on progress to the Secretary of State.
 
“We hope these advisers will be supportive critical friends to the council rather than another means of condemnation.”