Birmingham news and blogs Monday 16 July 2018
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Community Care

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Why practice leadership needs to be closer to the hard realities of social work practice 

2 Jul 18

by Tony Stanley The recent Care Crisis Review  called for more inclusive social work practice and a far less adversarial approach by workers, with proportionate involvement and respectful relationships being at the heart of good practice.

How this adult social care service’s open culture supports brave social work 

18 Jun 18

Want to be part of Gloucestershire County Council’s open and supportive adult social care service? Find out more about joining a service that helps you make the brave decisions that transform lives for the better.

Monitoring visit finds uneven progress being made at children’s trust 

15 Jun 18

Ofsted has given children’s social care in Birmingham a mixed bill of health following its latest monitoring visit, noting “progress” in some areas but warning of a “lack of focus” in others.

Social workers honoured on Queen’s birthday list 

12 Jun 18

This year’s Queen’s birthday honours list has recognised a number of social workers and managers, and others involved in social care, for their services to the sector.

The original social work Try Before You Apply day returns 

11 Jun 18

To find out more and secure your place on Somerset’s ‘Try Before You Apply’ day phone Claire Nuttall on 07855 287 139 or email CNuttall@Somerset.

Where councils are going wrong in their implementation of the Care Act 

8 Jun 18

By Belinda Schwehr CASCAIDr (Centre for Adults’ Social Care – Advice, Information and Dispute Resolution) has been open for five months now as a legal advice charity.

‘As poverty has become more about individuals, child protection has become more authoritarian’ 

4 Jun 18

by Simon Haworth Poverty is an increasingly dominant context for social work in times of austerity.

As a social worker, should I keep sharing personal stories with the families I am working with? 

23 May 18

by Andrew Matthews As part of a learning day for my course to become a practice educator we were required to speak with students about experiences and challenges around boundaries.

Frontline social work training costs ‘excellent value for money’, minister told 

17 May 18

A group of directors of children’s services has told the children’s minister that the “quality of practice skill exhibited by Frontline participants” represents “excellent value for money” after the model was challenged by groups earlier …

‘You’re doing social work like you would anywhere else; but you’re doing it in a way that allows innovation’ 

16 May 18

Since its launch in 2014, Achieving for Children (AfC) has increased the number of local authorities in its umbrella by one third.

Government orders ‘inadequate’ council to cooperate with ‘peer support’ programme from other London borough 

11 May 18

The Department for Education (DfE) has ordered an inadequate-rated council to comply with a two-year ‘peer support’ programme from a fellow London borough as it seeks to get its children’s services back on track.

Why you should start your social work career in Oxfordshire 

30 Apr 18

Get your social work career off to the very best start by applying to join Oxfordshire’s assessed and supported year in employment programme (ASYE) .

Why are more social work assessments leading to no further action? 

26 Apr 18

by Katherine Purvis Children’s social workers are assessing more referrals that lead to no further action due to cuts to early prevention services and a lack of understanding around thresholds, experts say.

From a pub to social work: how a chance encounter led a principal social worker into the profession 

5 Apr 18

By Lauren Brown On the face of it, Adam Birchall’s route into social work wasn’t too uncommon.

Children’s outcomes “not maximised” despite improvement to ’inadequate’ service, Ofsted finds 

4 Apr 18

By Lauren Brown Ofsted inspectors have found progress in an ‘inadequate’ children’s services but expressed ongoing concerns about children’s outcomes.

Parents should be supported to rehabilitate with their children – not without them 

3 Apr 18

by Jadwiga Leigh and Lisa Warwick Adults who find they are struggling to parent often come from disadvantaged backgrounds and find themselves in situations where they face a number of different social, emotional, environmental and health related …

Artificial intelligence in children’s services: the ethical and practical issues 

29 Mar 18

by Emily Keddell and Tony Stanley Predictive algorithms promoted and used by Hackney council to identify those most in need of scarce preventive services is an important issue for us to think more deeply about .

Oftsed criticises council where some social workers hadn’t had supervision for ‘months’ 

26 Mar 18

Social workers have high caseloads, are working on evenings and weekends and in some case haven’t had supervision for “months”, an Ofsted inspection of Wakefield children’s services has found.

NHS commissioners face court action over cost-capping continuing healthcare policies 

23 Mar 18

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has threatened legal action against 13 clinical commissioning groups on the grounds that their continuing healthcare policies breach equality and human rights law and risk forcing people into care homes.

Hunt hints at ‘Ofsted-style ratings’ for adult social care services 

21 Mar 18

Local authorities may be rated on the quality of their adult social care services to address variations in performance, Jeremy Hunt has suggested.

From India to Birmingham: A social worker keeping rights at the heart of her practice across continents 

20 Mar 18

Vidhya Biju, winner of the 2017 overall social worker of the year , is passionate about the service users she helps, and adamant that direct interaction with service users is the priority.

Ofsted praises social workers with legislative ‘expertise’ 

12 Mar 18

Social workers have been praised for work with care leavers and unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) in an improving local authority.

Troubled council says grant released to help pay for adult social care will have ‘little impact’ 

2 Mar 18

By Katherine Purvis Northamptonshire Adult Social Services (NASS) has said the release of £1.7 million from earmarked reserves to help pay for adult social care will have “little impact given the size of our challenge” .

Number of councils using Family Drug and Alcohol Courts to expand 

28 Feb 18

A different approach to care proceedings linked with more family reunifications and positive outcomes will be expanded across London The Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC), first launched in 2008 and now with courts across the country, will be …

Protecting yourself against compassion fatigue: key tips 

26 Feb 18

This article comprises of tips taken from a guide on Community Care Inform Children about burnout, secondary trauma and compassion fatigue, written by social worker Lori Goosen.

Seven steps towards a more anti-oppressive social work approach to care proceedings 

19 Feb 18

by Simon Haworth Following on from my previous article on social work and social harm, I wish to reflect upon potential ways forward for practice within the court arena to become more strengths-based, anti-oppressive and family focussed.

Average social worker caseloads: the highest and the lowest 

15 Feb 18

With the latest government statistics reporting an average caseload per child and family social worker of 17.8 nationally, Community Care wanted to see which local authorities were reporting higher or lower than ‘average’ caseloads down across …

‘When care proceedings concluded and children were removed, I felt only sadness’ 

14 Feb 18

by Simon Howarth I left the frontline four months ago, and the recent adoption enquiry has prompted me to reflect on the moral and ethical struggles I consistently felt as a court-based social worker.

Why policy on contact with children and birth families needs a rethink 

13 Feb 18

by Brigid Featherstone, Robin Sen and Anna Gupta.

Feeling ‘social worked’: how can we better incorporate service user voices into children’s services? 

1 Feb 18

by Tony Stanley Andy Couldrick Social work is in the business of helping.

How to comply with court rulings on section 20 

31 Jan 18

This article was first published in 2016 and last updated in January 2018.

Senior leadership: humility, transparency and knowing when to step back 

31 Jan 18

A transparent culture, openness to peer review and increasing accountability were all ingredients to the senior leadership team at Rotherham children’s services turning around its services for children.

Then and now: how a council turned around its children’s services in three years 

31 Jan 18

In its latest inspection of Rotherham council’s children’s services, Ofsted consistently commended the local authority for significant improvements and ‘transformed’ services.

Using social media in social work assessments: what the evidence tells us 

31 Jan 18

By Jenny Simpson The recent serious case review involving Wolverhampton children’s services and the death of a child by the mother’s violent partner has once again highlighted the perennial problem of a range of practitioners failing to work …

Services for children in Rotherham ‘transformed’ following ‘valuing frontline managers and staff’ 

29 Jan 18

by Luke Stevenson and Sarah Dennis Ofsted inspectors have praised the transformation of children’s services in Rotherham, which it says are now ‘good’ with an element of ‘outstanding’.

Child protection plans are ending too early, Ofsted warns Birmingham 

22 Jan 18

Birmingham children’s services is improving but “significant concerns” remain about children being left at risk due to child protection plans ending too early, Ofsted reports.

Social work ethics ‘not routinely used’ to inform adoption practice, enquiry suggests 

19 Jan 18

An enquiry into the social worker role in adoption has said the profession is not routinely using ethics to inform practice.

Social workers could use social media checks to ‘enhance’ assessments, serious case review says 

11 Jan 18

Social workers could “enhance” their assessments of families by using social media, a serious case review has said.

Top tips for practice educators on assessment, supervision and anti-oppressive practice 

18 Dec 17

“The pressures of managing caseloads as well as supervising students was a burden most practice educators didn’t really want,” newly-qualified social worker Anjum Shah  writes in Community Care this week.

How social workers are supporting people with HIV and cognitive impairment to regain independence 

1 Dec 17

HIV/AIDS hit the headlines as a “new” disease back in the 1980s.

How can senior managers lead social work practice more effectively? 

30 Nov 17

An article by Brendan Clifford in September 2017 prompted renewed debate about a topic which has occupied many in the profession – and in government – in recent years; how to improve the effectiveness of practice leadership across children’s …

Social Worker of the Year Awards 2017: The winners 

24 Nov 17

A hospital social worker described by her colleagues as “approaching every case with passion and commitment” has been named Social Worker of the Year for 2017.

Large-scale contracting out of children’s services ‘on the doorstep’, report says 

23 Nov 17

Pressures on local authorities to produce good outcomes for children with shrinking budgets could open the door to large-scale contracting out of services, a report by healthcare consultancy Laing Buisson has said.

‘Social work must challenge political and public anxieties about child protection’ 

15 Nov 17

By Jo Warner Ten years after the death of Peter Connelly, or ‘Baby P’, it is right that we should reflect on what has happened since.

Gender should be a side issue in debates over social work’s diversity 

14 Nov 17

by Mollie Heywood Stereotypically labelled as ‘women’s work’, social work is a profession that can impact every single aspect of society in some way or another.

Ofsted praises council for improving social work practice despite staff turnover concerns 

10 Nov 17

Improving social work practice has been praised in an ‘inadequate’-rated children’s service.

Personalisation is dying – and there’s little effort to rescue it  

10 Nov 17

By Simon Stevens As a long-term service user, I have witnessed the rise of personalisation and now I believe I am witnessing its fall.

Proposed change to Working Together guidance could leave social workers ‘exposed’ 

8 Nov 17

A minor change to the wording of the Working Together to Safeguard Children guidance could leave social workers “exposed”, it has been claimed.

Council must meet mental health aftercare costs for man already awarded £3.5 million in damages 

8 Nov 17

A judge has dismissed a local authority’s appeal against providing mental health aftercare services to a man already awarded £3.5 million in damages for the accident that caused his personality disorder.

How can we better integrate theory and practice in social work training? 

7 Nov 17

by Alison Domakin and Liz Curry Finding ways to effectively integrate theory and practice in social work education is a continual challenge and one that the profession has grappled with for many years.

Social work and religion: ‘It is painful to look back on the views I held’ 

6 Nov 17

by Anonymous It has been interesting to follow the news of the court’s ruling to uphold the decision of Sheffield University’s Fitness to Practice panel regarding Felix Ngole’s removal from his masters in social work course last year.

Judgment limits cases social workers will have to take to court regarding detention of young people 

2 Nov 17

by Mithran Samuel Luke Stevenson Parents will be able to consent to the detention of children aged 16 and 17 who lack the capacity to consent themselves, following a Court of Appeal judgement that overturned the previous law.

Social work practice ‘stronger’ in Birmingham following caseload improvements, inspectors say 

23 Oct 17

Ofsted inspectors have said social work practice in an inadequate-rated children’s services is getting “stronger” following improvements to caseload levels.

BASW writes to BBC over ‘cardboard cut-out’ social worker portrayal in EastEnders 

20 Oct 17

The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) has sent an open letter to the BBC complaining about the “cardboard cut-out” portrayal of a social worker in EastEnders.

Why and how social workers should use social media 

10 Oct 17

by Gordon Carson Luke Stevenson Social media’s role in social workers’ personal and professional lives has been hotly debated in the past few years, and inappropriate social media postings have even led to Health and Care Professions Council (…

County’s integration of social care and health under fire from regulator 

9 Oct 17

“Urgent and significant” improvements to health and social care integration in Cornwall must be made if the county is to tackle ongoing problems with transfers of care, a review has found.

Judge praises ‘focused’ social worker for high-quality evidence in care proceedings 

5 Oct 17

A judge has praised a social worker for giving “focused”, “thoughtful” and “reflective” evidence in court.

Be at the forefront of children’s social work 

5 Oct 17

If you’re an experienced social worker interested in joining a first-class team delivering a new and ground-breaking service, we’d like to hear from you.

Social Worker of the Year Awards finalists announced 

3 Oct 17

More than 80 social workers and social work teams have been selected as finalists for the prestigious Social Work of the Year Awards.

What the new looked-after children statistics don’t tell us 

3 Oct 17

By Paul Bywaters The latest DfE statistics on looked-after children (LAC) in England , out last week, highlight the continuing rise in the number of LAC – up another 3% this year – accompanied for the first time in five years by a rise in the …