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Freeing up social workers key to helping children and families

Social workers are being held back from spending the time needed to help vulnerable children and families by crippling caseloads, pointless bureaucracy and staff shortages, the British Association of Social Workers's Chief Executive Bridget Robb said.

Ms Robb was responding to findings from damning two-year study by the Centre for Social Justice claiming child protection and mental health services in Britain are in crisis and in need of a radical redesign.

At the same time charity Kids Company has launched a campaign called See the Child. Change the Sytem calling on the British public to hold politicians to account and make them remodel the "failing state of child protection and metal health services".

Ms Robb said: “Social workers already know what they should be doing but crippling caseloads, endless tidal waves of often pointless bureaucracy and lack of staff mean that they are not getting enough time to see children and families.

“The level of intervention within local authorities is currently at a high threshold, not at an early help or early intervention model. Social workers would love to use their skills in direct work with children and families in need of on-going support, but are prevented from doing so.

“We know that resources are finite; there are tough choices to be made and our most vulnerable children are not getting the support at the right time and in the right way.

“Whatever future lies in store for children’s services, social workers are integral to it. We look forward to participating in the Children’s Task Force discussions to help shape a child protection and wellbeing model that puts the needs of the child, rather than the needs of the system, first.”