Have you ever wondered if there is another job that can change as fast as social work without any changes having any immediate direct impact upon the people it should be helping. As a social worker who has spent many hours of reading every week to keep my own knowledge up to date, it does worry me that with all of the changes that have recomended through Munro, that the one task that remains key to any succesful intervention remains pressurised to be completed – the social work assessment.
Early intervention continues to provide a positive prevantative barrier for many families and young people becoming involved with social care. However, further reinforces the importance of the qualified social work assessment when it is needed. It therefore remains a challenge for social workers to continue with their learning and research, when in order to save money by the LA higher case loads and interventions are being placed upon remaining social workers whilst at the same resources are being moved to help with early intervention.
For me this is essential as it remains critical that postive outcomes are found for the vulnerable young people that we work with. As services are cut and funding is cut it is often left to the interventions made by the social workers to ensure that current placements do not break down. That joint working has taken on a new meaning with the priority being to ensure that the outcomes are the right ones for the young person.
Something that this year has been rewarded with positive GCSE results and fewer placement break downs and importantly great understanding of the needs of looked after children.
However, are these changes being driven through by the government with their policy changes or by the social workers encouraging the young people to achieve their goals? As the changes suggested in the Munro review and the government policies have yet to take true effect it appears that with increased participation and what appears to be despite all odds a will by the young people to improve their situation and reach their dreams.