Another Baby P waiting to happen?

Today’s news story comes from Greenwich where an – inevitably – unnamed social worker has broken ranks and said that another Baby P could happen because of a shortage of social workers and unmanageable workloads.

This scenario will be familiar to most children’s social workers. Vacancy rates nationally are said to be running at more than 10%, with the resultant knock-on effect in workload for current social workers.

It’s nothing new and one of the biggest problems the profession faces. The government can produce all the new initiatives and guidance it wants to try and improve practice and safeguarding but these mean little without the time – and personnel – to be able to carry these out effectively.

And this is where the problem lies. With local authority budgets set to be slashed in the next couple of years because of the recession, finding extra money for more social workers will be difficult at best for many councils.

Sadly, it seems this problem will remain and it is just a matter of time before another Baby P hits the headlines.

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