Thursday, 16 May 2013

Child Protection Expert To Speak At Conference

Child protection expert Eileen Munro is due to speak at special conference in Cambridgeshire this week.

Prof Munro, who published an independent review of child protection in England in 2011, will address the Social Work - Working for Families celebration event at Wyboston Lakes tomorrow (Friday).

She will be talking about social work practice and the social work profession, and will be giving an update on the national picture since her review two years ago.

Social Work – Working for Families represents a fundamental change in the way Cambridgeshire County Council provides social work intervention with vulnerable families.

The aims behind the new way of working include:

  •  An intention to improve the quality of the social work offered to vulnerable families
  • More and better quality time spent on direct intervention with children and families
  • Stronger professional development
  • A multi-agency approach to the provision of professional skills
  • Tested and evidence-based methodological approach
  • Practical support and skilled intervention
  • Learning to manage risk more effectively

The changes mean that instead of working with an individual social worker, families are supported by all the staff in a Social Work Unit.

A Social Work Unit is made up of a small group of professionals including a consultant social worker, social workers, a specialist clinician and a unit co-ordinator. All members of the unit share responsibility for the support that is provided to families.

Eileen Munro concluded in her report that child protection had become too focused on compliance and procedures and had lost its focus on the needs and experience of individual children. The Government agreed with Professor Munro’s analysis and published a formal Government response in July 2011.

In May 2012 Prof Munro published her progress update on the reforms. Her overall assessment was that progress was being made but the pace of reform needed to be faster.