Magazine article Public Finance

Beyond Caring

Magazine article Public Finance

Beyond Caring

Article excerpt

Who'd be a social worker? Damned if you do intervene, damned if you don't - and now, thrice damned for the systemic dereliction of duty that culminated in the horrific death of Baby P.

Heads, if not pay packets, have already rolled at Haringey Council following a scathing report from Ofsted and the health and police watchdogs. Its findings were, in the words of Children's Secretary Ed Balls, 'devastating and damning'.

Haringey's children's department was condemned for poor leadership and a failure to identify children at risk. Its practices were labelled unacceptable' and unreliable'. All of which bees question that the children, schools and families committee is eager to put to Ofsted head Christine Gilbert namely, why the council's child protection services were pronounced good' by the inspectorate only last year.

Here's a few more questions MPs might like to ask. Why did Ofsted inspectors rely far too much on paperwork, rather than practice on the ground? Was a director from an educational background suited to overseeing child protection in a borough infamous for the death of Victoria Climbié?

And does Ofsted have the appropriate skill set, when education rather than social care is still so central to its culture? …

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