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September 2018
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MUNRO REVIEW OF CHILD PROTECTION ' UNISON RESPONSE

UNISON, the UK’s largest union, today welcomed Professor Eileen Munro’s review of social work, and its focus on tackling bureaucracy to help social workers to get out from behind their desks and into their communities.

But the union warned that the avalanche of cuts hitting councils – including to early help services and admin support in social work departments – will set back the cause of giving social workers more time to focus on children and families.

Helga Pile, UNISON national officer for social work, said:

-Tackling bureaucracy is key to boosting social work. But the avalanche of cuts hitting councils means that children’s services are haemorrhaging staff. Many are making cuts of up to 25% to the admin workers who provide vital support to social workers.

-Reports are already emerging of social workers spending hours filing, data inputting, organising meetings and booking taxis for contact visits – all because their admin support has been taken away. This is a crazy situation.

-Professor Munro rightly stresses the importance of early help services – but sadly this comes too late for the hundreds of children’s centres and early help projects that are already closing this year, and for those facing the chop when the second year of cuts hits councils.”

UNISON reiterated its call for the government to put its weight behind the union’s social work contract. This ten-point plan sets out the minimum conditions needed for social workers to practise safely and effectively.

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