Support Members in Childrens Services

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Conference
2009 Local Government Service Group Conference
Date
19 February 2009
Decision
Carried as Amended

This Conference agrees t support their colleagues in Children’s Services with regard to the unacceptance working conditions those workers are enduring at present. These conditions include:

1)Unacceptably heavy case loads

2)Pressure not to practice professionally and in the prime interests of children, with assessment of need being secondary to what financial resources are available.

3)Cases being handed over to staff, by email without a proper handover meeting

4)Social work staff increasingly being expected to provide a business support service as well as a social work service hence cutting the available time to actually see vulnerable children.

Conference instructs the SGE to initiate a branch led recruitment and organising drive within Children’s Social Work departments to better fight for the above

6)Conference welcomes that some Social Work Departments are setting up additional teams to lower staff caseloads and encourage safe practice. UNISON encourages all departments to be looking at this as a priority.

7)Conference welcomes UNISON’s 10 point recommendations on protecting vulnerable children and conference instructs the SGE to devise a strategy on how we can implement the report’s recommendations and support branches to put this into action

8)Conference instructs the SGE to take an active role in the Government’s Social Work Development Taskforce based on UNISON’s 10 point recommendations.

This Conference shares the concerns of many of its social work colleagues that there will be similar cases to baby P occurring all across the country unless staff are seriously listened to and proper measures put in place based on safe case loads and safe working practices that put the needs of vulnerable children FIRST.

Conference fully supports those social workers currently in dispute with their employers over these issues.

Furthermore this Conference believes it is in the best interests of children social workers and wider society that these issues are raised as publicly as possible.