Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Surrey social services 'as bad' as Baby P council

Full Article:

Surrey social services 'as bad' as Baby P councilSocial workers have warned there could be another Baby P scandal in Surrey after the county council's children's services were rated the joint worst in Britain.
Ian MacDonald, a social worker who is lead convenor of the Childrens' Services branch of UNISON in Surrey, told the Herald that he and his colleagues are spending more than 60% of their time on paperwork and children are being put in danger as a result.
And union bosses added they were outraged that two social workers have been suspended and more than 50 are under review for not reaching performance targets - which they claim are counter-productive.
A letter from UNISON, the union representing Surrey's social workers, to Surrey County Council has warned that staff are extremely concerned that the horrific death of Baby P (pictured) after months of neglect could be repeated in the county.
Mr MacDonald said: ''There is always the chance of a Baby P happening in Surrey when social workers don't have the time to properly evaluate families and children."
"Social workers in Surrey are doing a very good job in very difficult circumstances but there will always be a danger if we can't concentrate on the direct work with the children. It's becoming an untenable position and it's dangerous. ''
The warning comes after the Audit Commission ranked Surrey's education and social care as inadequate in a report published on Thursday March 5.
The council was only joined at the bottom of the table by Doncaster, Milton Keynes and Haringey - which was embroiled by the Baby P scandal last year.
The Surrey union also passed a motion at January's AGM warning that social workers were handling unacceptably heavy case loads and being pressured to prioritise financial needs over the interests of children.

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