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New licences for social workers after Baby P case

PUBLISHED: 11:18 03 December 2009 | UPDATED: 16:34 07 September 2010

SOCIAL workers will need a new licence to practise under a raft of new measures which have been agreed to boost morale and standards following the Baby Peter case. The government has also pledged to increase pay for the most experienced senior frontline s

SOCIAL workers will need a new licence to practise under a raft of new measures which have been agreed to boost morale and standards following the Baby Peter case.

The government has also pledged to increase pay for the most experienced senior frontline staff after accepting proposals from a specially formed social work taskforce.

The chief executive of Camden Council, Moira Gibb, chaired the taskforce, which was set up last year after Baby Peter's death.

Following publication of the report on Tuesday (December 1), Ms Gibb said: "Over the last year, the social work taskforce has been listening to the concerns of service users and social workers, and those who work with them about the difficulties social workers face.

"The profession, knocked by widespread public criticism in individual cases has been low on the esteem and self-belief needed to drive forward the improvements required to make social work the high quality profession we know it can become.

"Working with the building blocks set out in our interim report, we have put forward a comprehensive reform programme, to help transform the social work profession.

"As chairwoman of the social work reform board I look forward to working with others to drive these important changes forward."

Baby Peter died at the hands of his mother, her boyfriend and her boyfriend's brother after suffering months of abuse in their Tottenham council house.

They are all serving prison sentences for causing or allowing his death.

But the case sparked a national debate about social work when it emerged that the 17-month-old been seen 60 times by social workers, health professionals and police before his tragic death.

Among the 15 recommendations announced, were plans to create a new and independent College for Social Work led and owned by the profession, to establish a stronger voice for social workers and exercise appropriate influence over national policy making and public debate.

Ministers have promised it will become the first Royal College of Social Work as soon as possible.

The publication of the report comes exactly a year after Education Secretary Ed Balls removed Sharon Shoesmith from her post as director of children's services at Haringey Council.

A judge is examining whether his decision was lawful after Ms Shoesmith began judicial review proceedings against Mr Balls, Ofsted and Haringey Council.

Mr Balls has denied treating Ms Shoesmith unfairly, or that he gave a "knee-jerk" reaction to quell public anger over the case.


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