Identifying the problem

Niki Clemo
Service Director – Children’s Social Care
14 December 2011
Cambridgeshire in 2009/10
 Fully staffed, but inexperienced workforce
(over 68% less than 2 years experience)
 Over-reliance on non-qualified staff
 Rising LAC
 Delay in court proceedings / multiple
requests for expert reports.
 ICS!
Identifying the problem
 ‘Silted up’ at the front end – siege
 Team Managers carrying the risk NQSWs
with high case load = high turnover
 Quality of written work in assessment
 Delay evident in every ADM meeting
 Inconsistent practice – some outstanding,
some not so good
Identifying the solution
 Considered different models of delivery
including RSW
 Engaged staff in thinking about how to do
things differently
 All service conference to consider RSW
model and a focus on improving practice.
Why Reclaim Social
 Whole system approach (7’s model)
 Reflective learning and development
 Supporting families to stay together
 Shifting the culture – working with families
 Confidence back in practice
 Celebrating what social workers do best
 Seeing social workers as experts and having
the right tools (training) to do the
The Response
Over-whelming support from front-line staff
Members, CEX and DCS all on board
Identified transformation funding
Commissioned MLA to support
Social Work – Working for
 Designed around RSW model
 Fully qualified social work units
 44 social work units placed across county
to ensure no more than 35 minutes
travelling time
 Partnership agreement with CAMH
 Head of LAC – Head of Psychology
Criteria for Success
 Clear vision, well articulated and
 Key set of principles of why we were doing
 Highly skilled project manager and team
(including HR + Finance)
 Engagement of Unison from early outset
 ‘Leaders’ able to ‘infect’ workforce
with idea
Criteria for Success (cont)
 Sign up by Elected Members (cross party
including Scrutiny)
 Acceptance of Management of risk
 Support from peers
 Role of Principal Child and Family Social
 Role of Partners, CAMH, Internal Audit
Consultation Process
 Difficult messages to manage
 Not as good as we thought we were on
outcomes for children and families
 Over reliance on assessment, poor on
 Very limited direct work with children
 Most direct work undertaken by unqualified
 Managing cases via a computer.
 Understanding that we were not configured to
deliver best possible service
 Acknowledgement of need for change
 Embracing RSW model as saw the potential
 Evidence based practice and giving
practitioners the tools to do the job.
 Reduction in management and investment in
 Reduction in unqualified staff
Current position
 Interviewed and appointed 26 CSWs and 6
 All CSWs on bespoke systemic practice
 Populated the units
 All staff aware of where they will be working
 6 month roll out
 Jan 16th – first 5 day induction
 Jan 23rd - first 4 units go live
 Evaluation – partnership with
Managing the transition
Very carefully, ensuring baton not dropped
No-one allowed to say ‘not my job’
Regular communication – 2 way
Weekly visiting front-line staff
Attention to detail
What made it work
(so far!)
 Committed and motivated management
 Enthusiastic and engaged front-line staff
 Excellent project manager and team
 DCS / Leader / CEX / Lead Member
 Munro + CWDC (timing)
 MLA!