Looked-after Children - Children, Schools and Families Committee Contents

Supplementary memorandum submitted by Colin Green, Safeguarding spokesman, Association of Directors of Children's Services (ADCS)

  I am sorry I could not stay until the end. If I had, my reply to the Chairman's final question on what the inquiry should include would have been that it must focus on the workforce and in particular the quality of the social work workforce. This requires sustained attention over a period of years to develop the skills and competence of the workforce and ensure there is sufficient supply of well trained and motivated people to undertake this difficult work. One dimension of this, which Henrietta's reply addresses, is the valuing of the workforce. Central to improvement is the valuing of the workforce and recognising that this work is complex and requires people of ability. Therefore the rewards need to be commensurate with comparable professions requiring the acquisition and use of complex skills and sophisticated knowledge and the academic requirements and training need to reflect this as well.

  I agree with what Judith and Rosalyn said.

  On ICS I would add that a debate is needed on how this important and complex work is recorded and the right balance between recording and direct face to face contact with children and families. I would caution against hasty conclusions on this without a thorough examination of the evidence and a review of why we have arrived where we have with a very well defined practice system.

  I would be happy to assist the Committee further on behalf of ADCS if that would be helpful.

December 2008

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