Skip to main content

BASW warning on threat to take over Birmingham children's services

Responding to media reports that the children's services department in Birmingham City Council could be taken over by the Department for Education (DfE), Bridget Robb, Chief Executive of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW), said:

"Social workers and council leaders in Birmingham know very well that they are under pressure to improve the service they provide to their communities, and are currently beginning a long process of attempting to return the authority's safeguarding services to better health, but this won't be an overnight job.

“While BASW understands the Government's determination to ensure this happens as soon as possible, we are concerned that the nature of this latest announcement will do little to help struggling morale and those early efforts to introduce urgent reform.

“Of course Birmingham, like all local authorities, cannot go on indefinitely under-performing and we know how challenging it has been for social workers to operate in the city over recent years.

“Ministers need to tread carefully that they don't rush into yet more changes that may do more harm than good at a time when under Peter Hay’s stewardship the council appears well placed to turn things around."

According to the BBC the Government will step in and take over children's services if inspectors from Ofsted do not see an improvement when they conduct an inspection later this month.

The department is the biggest of its kind in England and has been rated as 'inadequate' for four years.