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If you were Chief Social Worker for a day...

By Gemma Raw

Last month, you let us know what you would do if you were Lyn Romeo, Chief Social Worker for Adults for a day. This month, it’s time for you to let us know what you would do if you were Isabelle Trowler, Chief Social Worker for Children and Families. Once again, we had a terrific response and we had some fantastic responses.​ If I were Chief Social Worker for Children and Families, I would: 

"Make it easier for Newly Qualified Social Workers to get on to the ASYE program" - Sheradean, Ashford 

"Spend the day with a child and do just what they would like to do, to show me their world" - Eileen, Birmingham 

"Implement a dedicated task force to deal immediately with any allegations of abuse or neglect using all services available without delay or obstruction" - Stewart, Dundee 

"Share positive social work practice and stories" - Kerry, Portsmouth 

"Ensure that a mental health worker was available for social workers every day in each Local Authority" - Amy, Southend On Sea 

"Spend time with student social workers and frontline workers" - Laura, Leicestershire 

"Make sure we listen to children using imaginative means through formal processes" - Marion, Mansfield 

"Use the media and social media to make a clear statement that there are not enough social workers to keep our children safe" - Marion, Fife 

"Ensure that children’s safety and wellbeing is enhanced via inter-agency working to ensure the child’s whole need is being met" - Swinder, Bedfordshire 

"Allocate administrators to back-up social workers directly so they can spend more time with families and less time on administration" - Julie, Cardiff 

"Ensure all social workers have mandatory training in trauma and trauma-informed working" - Anonymous 

"Meet with frontline social workers and accompany them on a CP, CHIN and CLA visit. I would include frontline workers in strategic and policy meetings and working parties focused on best practice. I would also establish an early intervention and prevention multi-disciplinary team who would be paid well. I would train workers in circle of security and record contact sessions to play back to parents as a teaching aid" - Sheila, South West 

"Negotiate with the central government for much-needed funds for children’s services and deliver a positive campaign for the retention of staff with financial incentives for staff. Prioritise the independence of IRO's to enable them to make robust and honest evidence-based challenges" - Tina, London 

"Be more visible and go on local radio answering questions" - Michael, Doncaster 

"Take time to look at what is working well and ensure this is happening across all Local Authorities. I would also speak directly to social workers about the positive work they do every day" - Cheryl, Herts 

"Look at how to support parents to look after their children" - Satwant, Wythenshawe 

"Make all managers right up to Chief SW carry two/three caseloads" - Isabel, Fife 

"Allocate an independent advocate for every child that we work with, to ensure that our work is child centred at all times" - Pamela, Isle of Man 

"Restructure national management of child protection" - Derek, Aberdeenshire 

"Raise permanent staff salaries, recruit more social workers and child and family support workers. Provide a nice play area in each building for parents to bring their children, provide parent support groups and youth support groups. There are gaps in the way the system supports young people and parents. Instead, we penalise them for something they had no knowledge on in the first place" - Sofia, Hampshire