THREE QUARTERS Of Children In Care Ping Ponged Around The System

The report also highlights another important area, which is data collection. In her executive summary, the Children’s Commissioner explains that the findings are limited because the quality of national data is inadequate. This is something we have written about often, and remains one of Researching Reform’s bug bears.

If you have a chance to look at the report, do tell us what you think.

Researching Reform

Three quarters of children inside the care system experience being moved from placements and schools, as well as changes in social worker. These are the latest findings from the Children’s Commissioner’s Stability Index, an annual report which looks at the extent to which children are moved around the care system.

The report includes the following statistics:

  • There are over 70,000 children currently in care
  • Only 1 in 4 children in care experienced no placement move, no school move and no social worker change within a year.
  • Only 1 in 10 children experienced none of these changes over two years.
  • Nearly 2,400 children (6% of children in care attending school) experienced a placement move, a school move and a change in social worker all in 2016/17.
  • Over 350 children (1% of those in care attending school) experienced multiple placement moves, a mid-year school move and multiple social worker changes all…

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Insights: The Good Social Worker

While the directory has been met with cynicism by a few service users, most families who contacted the founders of the directory have welcomed the initiative, feeling it has offered them a place to seek out competent social workers.

The initial findings from the directory are thought provoking. Several service users said that they had engaged with good social workers, but within a short period of time those social workers had then left the sector. Some families implied that this was because the social workers felt pressure to conform to unethical practices or processes that were not in the best interests of the families they were helping. The departure of these social workers significantly affected families, who felt that they had lost a vital advocate who made them feel safe and understood.

Other families had experienced multiple social workers during the lives of their cases, a feature of the current system which many parents and children find deeply unsettling, but there were also positive stories of social workers going above and beyond their current duties.

One service user told us:

“The social workers attended a private court hearing for me to get contact with my older kids on a Special Guardianship Order. They didn’t have to come and weren’t involved with my children but they both came to support me and speak up for me to the judge.” 

This kind of feedback is significant for the way it highlights the gaps in current social work services, and how families respond when they are properly looked after.

Other interesting information emerging from the directory relates to the concentration of good social workers in specific areas, with Hastings and Sefton in the lead this week. Three social workers in each area have been nominated by families for their help and support.

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Researching Reform

A directory launched on Sunday, housing the names of social workers who have been recommended by service users has received over 300 messages, which offer interesting insights into service users’ experiences, and the child protection sector.

The Good Social Worker was created by Michele Simmons and Natasha Phillips, who wanted to launch a site for parents and children which could offer them reassurance about their social worker, and give passionate social care professionals the chance to highlight their commitment to the families and children they assist.

While the directory has been met with cynicism by a few service users, most families who contacted the founders of the directory have welcomed the initiative, feeling it has offered them a place to seek out competent social workers.

The initial findings from the directory are thought provoking. Several service users said that they had engaged with good social workers, but within a short…

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Nearly Two Thirds Of Children’s Social Workers Think Their Practice Is Not Always Based On Credible Evidence.

Researching Reform

A Twitter poll carried out by the What Works Centre, has revealed that 64% of social workers do not believe their practice is always based on credible data or evidence. The survey also confirmed that over a third of social workers who took the survey believe that none of their practice is based on sound information. The poll was posted on August 27th, and was taken by 518 social workers.

The Twitter poll, which allowed social workers to respond anonymously, asked the following question:

As a Children’s Social Worker, are the processes and practices being used in your local area based on credible and robust data, evidence or research?

A selection of answers were offered inside the poll by the WWC:

  1. Yes, all are.
  2. Yes, but only some.
  3. No, none are.
  4. Not sure.

Only 9% of those that took the poll selected the first option, with 33% selecting ‘yes, but only…

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