WD February 2016 Update

Update for the February meeting of the ADCS Council of Reference

The committee met on 27 November and welcomed colleagues from the East Midlands to discuss a proposal for the development of a level 3 modular professional qualification for the early help workforce. The committee welcomed the proposal and felt more could be done to celebrate the wider workforce as a career choice rather than a pathway to a profession. ADCS and the LGA have been supporting the development of two apprenticeships for the sector to provide an accredited work-based programme for this cohort of the workforce and the committee felt there were opportunities for these two pieces of work to come together.

Health Education England attended the meeting to provide an update on the programme of work being undertaken to ensure there is a sustainable and highly qualified health workforce for children and young people. The Local Education and Training Boards (LETB), of which there are 13 in England, will be the key vehicle by which education and training is commissioned to support innovation and development of the workforce within a specific geographical area. The committee felt uneasy about this as LETBs have been very adult focused and as such, it has been difficult to get children’s issues on thegenda. To enable a greater understanding of the wider workforce deployed within children’s services, a small group of committee members will meet with HEE to map this out.

The DfE provided an update on the work taking place to review Working with foreign authorities (2014). This provides a set of principles for social workers working on child protection cases and care orders, where the child has links to a foreign country. The DfE is reviewing this document and has focused on the following issues:

  • Clarity around the international jurisdiction of social workers
  • The role of the Central Authority and how LAs can make contact
  • Improving communication between LAs and the Central Authority
  • The importance of the 26 week timeframe
  • Distinctions between EU cases and wider international practice.

The committee also discussed the work taking place in regions to secure a greater level of stability and quality in the social work workforce. A number of regions have memorandums of understanding/cooperation on the use of agency social workers which are helping to manage the market within regions, however these can be undermined by cross border issues. The committee agreed to do a piece of work to pull together the themes from the memoranda and feed it into a future meeting for further discussion on how regions can work together on this matter.

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