Socialist Worker

Overwork in children’s services

by Raymie Kiernan
Issue No. 2565

Social workers in Sandwell fighting privatisation plans by Eleanor Brazil, who is planning similar attacks in Kirklees

Social workers in Sandwell fighting privatisation plans by Eleanor Brazil, who is planning similar attacks in Kirklees (Pic: Sandwell Unison)


Ofsted inspectors said that Kirklees council in West Yorkshire Children’s Services staff are “not able to complete all the tasks needed to support children and families effectively”.

That’s because their “caseloads are too high”.

The latest criticism of the council mirrors arguments by the workers’ Unison union.

Staff in Children’s Services social work teams struck for 48 hours last month.

Rocketing workloads is a key issue in the long-running dispute. Over 25 percent of children’s social work staff and over 30 percent of children’s social work management are now agency. Staff turnover was also criticised by Ofsted for “impacting adversely on continuity for children”.

Among other issues, workers have demanded more permanent staff and an end to the use of agency workers.


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