A local authority has been praised by Ofsted inspectors because of their “outstanding leadership and adoption performance” when it increased its frontline social worker staff members by 33%.
The inspection report that looked at the local authority of Merton, stated that the council streamlined the management structure and increased the number of social workers that worked in the teams that safeguard some of the most vulnerable children in our society.
With an increase in social workers, this enabled more manageable caseloads. The inspection report as cited in Community Care states “Strong frontline managers, carefully managed workloads and an evidence-informed approach create time for social workers to practice creative and effective direct work with children. This leads to well-crafted assessments and interventions, which are concentrated on understanding and improving the experiences of children.”
The report also highlighted that managers encouraged a learning environment for their staff. Management encouraged their staff members to think outside the box to find creative solutions to problems. “This includes a coherent practice model to assist social workers in their analysis, manageable caseloads, frequent supervision, reflective auditing and mature partnerships. This results in an environment in which social work practice continues to develop and flourish despite a turnover of staff,” the report said.
It is no secret that a number of local authorities struggle to maintain social workers and with budget cuts and increasing workload this often impacts on the services that are being provided. Social workers often do a great and unappreciated job in safeguarding vulnerable children and it is positive to see Merton taking an initiative and looking at ways to offer the most affective service that they can for their service users.
If you would like to play a part in making a big difference in young people’s lives then why not contact Sunbeam Pride Fostering Agency on 01582 433 775.