Funding to improve social work practice is removed

  • The government has removed £3.2 million funding from scheme designed to improve social work practice in England.

    This is because the Children's Improvement Board (CIB) who allocated the funding have had £8.5 million government funding removed, so the scheme is now likely to be scrapped.

    The money was going to be used to set up set up a group of senior social workers in a Social Work Associate Practice (SWAP) who would be deployed to help improve frontline children's social work in English councils.

    The SWAP programme was due to be its biggest investment for 2013-14 to help support local councils to:

    • Improve social work practice in safeguarding and care;
    • Provide a means for good social work practice to be shared on a systematic basis;
    • Use secondments to share expertise and understanding across social work;
    • Increase experience in peer support between councils.

    The CIB was also due to fund 20 peer reviews of councils' safeguarding services, provide support on child sexual exploitation for councils affected by the problem and offer additional support to councils facing government intervention because of poor safeguarding performance.

    The CIB is a partnership between the Local Government Association (LGA), the Association of Directors of Children's Services (ADCS) and the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers (Solace), to help councils improve their performance in children's services.

    As the government have removed £8.5 million funding from the parent project CIB to put the money into front line services, SWAP is now likely to be scrapped. The Department for Education have expected for councils to fill the funding gap, but loval government leaders say this is unlikely given that the councils' budgets have already been tightened and most are struggling.

    CIB director Colin Hilton said it will be difficult to replace the work being done on such short notice:

    We knew this funding was always going to be time limited but this announcement comes as a complete shock when we are already a week into the new financial year.

    It leaves no time for contingency planning and puts at risk the good work carried out by the Children's Improvement Board in supporting councils to improve their children's services.

    Such work needs to be adequately resourced and it is untenable to throw the full weight of this on councils which are already contending with government cuts to their budgets by a third.

    A DfE spokesperson said:

    The department always intended that its support would be time limited and that, in the longer term sector led improvement should mean "sector funded". It is the responsibility of local government, working with delivery partners, to lead its own performance improvement and take individual and collective responsibility for achieving better outcomes for children.


Related articles

  • Read More


    It was also found that the social care sector has the following characteristics:Social care seems like an adjunct to the NHS instead of being an important service in its own right. While the...

  • Read More

    Scottish Welfare Fund grants see a 13% rise in applications

    Data from the Scottish Government has shown that the number of applications to councils under the Scottish Welfare Fund has increased by 13% in just the last year, reports The Courier.Over the most...

  • Read More

    Local welfare assistance funds held back by councils

    The Centre for Responsible Credit using Freedom of Information requests carried out a study which found that 127 local authorities spent 52.8% of their £148.5m sharing of the local welfare...

  • Read More

    Landlord scheme has saved the NHS thousands of pounds

    The groups - Oldham Council, Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Oldham Housing Investment Partnership - consist of 10 social landlords who co-invested in the ‘Warm Homes Oldham'...

  • Read More

    Calls for NHS funding

    Stevens also called for an end to the ‘boom-bust' approach. Stevens told the Financial Times he hoped for more annual funding in addition to the £2bn lifeline that the Chancellor, George Osborne,...

  • Read More

    New Fundraising Campaign Launched by Hospital Charity

    The campaign encourages its supporters to partake in its ‘Every £1 Counts' fundraiser by making a donation and sharing a ‘pound selfie' on Facebook and Twitter throughout January.The charity are...

  • Read More

    Home care sector facing crisis due to workers’ wages

    A study by contractor Mears and the Local Government Information Unit have reported that councils should ensure they pay providers to enable them to pay ‘at least' minimum wage salaries.Liberal...

  • Read More

    Supported housing service for women and their children has received funding for community garden

    Endeavour Housing Associaiton's Rainham House temporary accommodation service has been awarded funding for their Roots and Shoots garden project. Working in partnership with community allotment...

  • Read More

    Social landlords urged to make do without grants

    Speaking to Inside Housing at the Conservative Party conference this week, Mr Lewis said: "If housing associations want to survive without government funding, that's a good thing."He said it would...

  • Read More

    Supporting People budget cut by £10m by the Welsh government

    A draft budget shows the government announcing plans to cut the budget for Supporting People from £134.4m in 2014/15 to £124.4m in 2015/16 which is a drop of 7.4%, reports Inside Housing.Despite...

Briefing Signup