Social workers should spend less time filling in forms and more time talking to children, the head of an independent review into child protection in England said today.Who could argue with that? Any more instructions on those eggs, grandma?
Professor Eileen Munro also wants to strip Ofsted of the power to evaluate reports into the deaths of abused or neglected children.And the icing on the cake? ‘Hey, how about we use the element of surprise to find out what they are really up to?!’
And the regulator should scrap making pre-planned checks on children's services in favour of unannounced visits, the review found.It’s a real /facepalm moment when you realise that those tasked with guarding the guardians think that a pre-arranged visit shows them anything, isn’t it?
She said: "Everyone in the profession can think of meetings and forms that don't actually make a child safer.Well, cheers, professor, but most people could have told you that for nothing…
"Whilst some regulation is needed, we need to reduce it to a small, manageable size.
"Professionals should be spending more time with children, asking how they feel, whether they understand why the social worker is involved in their family, and finding out what they want to happen.
"Placing a timescale on completing a form puts pressure on professionals which can distract from making decent quality judgments."
It also stressed the importance of giving health, police and family support professionals easier access to social work advice when they have concerns about abuse and neglect.That’ll be good news, at least, it will if it’s acted upon, rather than given lip service.
Prof Munro will submit her final report in April.Plenty of time for the SS to entrench themselves and prepare for a long siege.