What every person needs is a ten year plan to work towards, a plan which sets out clearly step by step your actions that need to take place to affect change and also improve outcomes. Ten years? [wow] what a long time, I can barely set out a plan for five years before something comes along and changes what I want to do, let alone for me to have the financial ability to carry it out.
However, here it is the Governments collectively since 2004 have had a ten year plan, and I guess that the start and finish times are slightly fluid in movement to fit in with whenever the Local Authority’s achieve the change needed to boast about sufficiently.
I was wondering whether the current coalition understood social work in any form. Did they understand the changes that were recommended by Eileen Munro, although even before Eileen Munro began talking about improving child protection procedures the Government had already decided on what it called the ‘Every child Matters: Change for Children’ plan.
In 2004 the Children Act 2004 was introduced with some key changes in place to improve the outcomes for all children. This included a necessity of all LA’s to have a Children’s Director, an elected councillor who will have links with the local Safeguarding board.
The change for Children plan put clearly at it heart clear defined outcomes that would be linked to the OFSTED inspections and placing responsibility with all organisations to be responsible for providing improved outcomes for the vulnerable young people they were engaging through Joint area reviews (JAR).
Furthermore it found that the consultation from Every Child Matters that better outcomes will be secured by services working more effectively at the front line to meet the needs of the children. even in 2004 it was identified that there needed to be a massive culture change in the way the service delivery was provided, with narrowing resources and budgets by pooling what is available and having a joined up front line service children and their families could be sign posted to the right service sooner rather than later. It would also mean that children would not lose the benefit of the specialism that exist within different teams.
However, it is only today that these teams are being openly talked about although some have been in place longer. On the BBC website talks about Northamptonshire County Council setting up a Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub or (MASH).
The idea of which is really exciting and means that whether these teams are vital or physical that better communication, assessments and working will lead to a reduction of families needing high end social care involvement and children achieving better outcomes.
It would be interesting though to wonder where the Munro review fitted into this and whether this is the driver to ensure the 10 year plan is achieved and needed? and whether the two plans can work together as many LA’s are still trying to implement massive budget reductions and reorganisations to achieve this, whilst offering the best service to children and young people.