Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Alarm bells should be ringing ...

Regular blog readers will remember we, as a Political Group, opposed the latest round of "Organisational Review" being inflicted on the Children and Families Department at the Council ...

... well, it all came back to the Education Committee last week and further changes were pushed through - again, against our judgement and without our support.

Interesting, if not depressing, to see that the whole saga is now making the feature pages of the Herald - I'll reproduce the pertinent points here:

... Unison and the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) have had angry exchanges with the council over plans to restructure children and families work, including the removal of 12 managers through redundancy or redeployment.

However Ruth Stark of BASW says she was "deeply concerned" about the plans passed by the council's Education, Children and Families committee last week.

The managers likely to lose their jobs are among the council's most experienced staff, she said, and are involved in day-to-day work with families.

Stark says: "Lord Laming, in his report on the fate of Victoria Climbie, highlighted the importance of the support and guidance needed by frontline child protection staff from senior managers and practitioners. These are not people who sit behind desks pushing paper but experienced social workers who will often be that second pair of eyes in a child protection investigation and in the work with adults to help prevent child abuse," she says.

"Their skill and expertise is vital in keeping our children safe. Given the similar findings of the Caleb Ness Inquiry in Edinburgh, it is extremely short-sighted of the Councillors in the City of Edinburgh to be discarding this high level skill and expertise in child protection work and leaving their frontline staff in a very exposed situation."

Unison's Tom Connolly adds: "Many of these staff carry some of the most complex cases. It is astonishing that the council is saying it wants to allocate all the cases that are on waiting lists, and to do this it is cutting staff."

Now, how such sentiments CANNOT be ringing alarm bells amongst those in charge, I simply fail to understand??

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