A whistleblower who worked as a social worker for Worcestershire County Council, has called out the local authority for its unethical practices which placed children’s lives in danger.
The whistleblower, who was part of the council’s failing children’s services team, says the local authority prioritised cuts above everything else, and bullied and intimidated social workers who refused to put quantity before quality when it came to preparing child protection assessments.
Further claims made by the former social worker include:
• That “stressed and tired” social workers were exploited – with some working 25 hours without pay, on top of their contracted hours.
• Several social workers were going on sick leave due to stress.
• One social worker went to work with a broken hand, afraid of the consequences of not meeting a deadline.
• A social worker dealing with 40 cases – more than the maximum which is meant to be 18.
• Social workers being told to ignore producing quality work and encouraged to assess children quickly.
• If social workers refused to disregard quality, “they were belittled”.
The article goes on to suggest that the council is trying ‘really hard’ to address these allegations and that monitoring body Ofsted has since acknowledged improvements made, but this begs the question – how is the council going about making these changes if there are no extra resources available?
Researching Reform does not think this is the only council in England and Wales implementing this policy or encouraging a culture of bullying within child protection teams. We very much hope more whistleblowers from other councils will come forward.
Many thanks to Michele Simmons for alerting us to this story.