The government has announced it has taken control of Croydon’s children’s services after an Ofsted report found there were widespread and serious failures which were placing children at risk.
Inspectors found there was weak management at all levels, but importantly considered that many social workers were over-burdened with unsustainable caseloads. There were further concerns in respect of high staff turnover and complaints that foster carers were not being properly supported or regulated.
Of serious concern were delays in speaking to young people and securing help generally, but particularly for those who ran away from home and those at risk of sexual abuse.
Commissioner Eleanor Brazil, who oversaw the reforms at Haringey Council following the Baby P scandal, has been appointed by the government to improve children’s services in the area. She will conduct a three month review which will seek to improve the support available for children and young people. Croydon Council highlighted that an action plan has been implemented and an improvement team introduced.
Investment in resources has become a common concern in many social work areas; unsustainable caseloads is a factor raised by many of our clients who have found themselves referred to their regulator, the Health and Care Professions Council, for lack of competence or misconduct issues. Social workers required to spend time assessing and building relationships with service users are also under pressure to prepare reports, attend court, supervise/cover for colleagues and manage staff, and can find themselves referred to their regulator when mistakes inevitably happen.
Our specialist lawyers have extensive experience of defending social workers facing investigation by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). If you require assistance in dealing with a referral to the HCPC please contact our team for expert advice. For more information, visit our HCPC page or call 0175 321 6399.