The government has launched a consultation into the state of children’s social care.

The Education Committee’s inquiry will look at children’s social workers engaged in children’s social care with a view to trying to understand how to give children and families the best support possible.

The inquiry will explore the possibilities for early intervention, social work reform and training for children’s social workers. It will also investigate the extent to which social workers carry out and uphold their legal responsibilities as social work professionals.

While the focus appears to be on workloads and high staff turnover, this is a wonderful opportunity for families and children to try once again to explain to the government why a brand new approach, and state of the art social work training is needed. And you can share your thoughts with the committee.

Care experienced families and children can answer a series of questions prepared by the Committee in this file. The questions are:

  1. What does/did your social worker need in order to do their job properly?

  2. What helped, or didn’t help your social worker have what they need to do their job properly?

  3. Do you think the job that social workers do today has changed in the past few years? If so, how has it changed, and why do you think that might be?

  4. What does good social work look like to you?

  5. Is there anything else that you want to tell us?

You can also submit further thoughts in a file without being restricted by set questions. 

You are entitled to ask that your submission, or just selected parts, are kept confidential. The Committee may also anonymise or redact your submission.

Education Committee Chair Robert Halfon MP explains the background to the inquiry:

“Children, young people and their families receive vital support from social workers. Yet children and their families in receipt of social work support are often those who have the worst outcomes. For example, 14% of looked after children get five good GCSEs, 39% of care leavers are NEET [not in education, employment or training], and one in four women who had a child removed through the family courts is likely to go back to court to have another child removed.

Reports suggest that children are under increasing pressures as they grow up, facing  up to a rise in mental health problems, a rise in knife crime and serious violence, and experiencing a range of challenges in areas such as social media use. We want to explore what social work looks like in 2019 and examine the skills and support that social workers need to keep children and young people safe from harm and to help them grow up to thrive as adults.

This inquiry will build on the Committee’s previous work on fostering, alternative provision and special educational needs, and continue to make the case for greater support for young people as they grow up. We want all children to have the very best start in life, and social workers play vital roles in keeping families together, children and young people safe and providing much needed support.”

The deadline for written submissions is Friday 30 August. 

The Education Committee’s page with all the information on this inquiry can be found here. 

Many thanks to Eugene for alerting us to the inquiry.