The Government’s strategy on children’s social care: our response
Mary Jackson, chief executive of Frontline, shares her views on the Government’s response to the Care Review recommendations.
We’re pleased to see the Government’s response to the Care Review and other important reviews. At a time when so many children and families are struggling, it’s never been more urgent and we need to take every opportunity to ensure social workers and the sector are supported to do their best work.
We welcome the focus on ensuring that social workers spend more time with children and families and the introduction of an Early Career Framework for social workers. We hope this will give new social workers much-needed clarity on the knowledge and skills required to best support and protect children.
Protecting children and keeping them safe from harm is the highest priority for all children’s social workers.
In order to do this effectively, social workers need both specific skills and a clear understanding of the child’s situation and family life. The three most recent reviews into children’s social care continue to evidence that the current social work system often doesn’t enable them to achieve this. So we welcome the recommendations for changes to multi-agency working and the introduction of the child protection lead in the hope that this different way of working may bring about much-needed systemic change.
As a national trainer of child protection social workers, Frontline has a particular interest in workforce development. We support the introduction of a National Framework which streamlines existing standards and provides clarity to social workers on what ‘good’ looks like, by providing evidence-informed guidance on how to effectively work with children and families. It is so important that the consultation draws on learning and expertise from different sectors to benefit from diversity of thought, experience and perspective, including those with lived experience of social work.
Like others across the sector, we want to see decisive action taken by the Government as quickly as possible, so we can change the experience of those children most in need across the country. We also want to understand further how the proposed levels of investment will be sufficient to achieve the scale and pace of change needed in the social work system.