A Birmingham City Council spokesperson said:
“We remain absolutely committed to providing the best service for children and families in Birmingham. We have also been honest about the historic and well publicised failings of children’s services. Our over-riding priority, therefore, continues to be that all our children are well protected and well looked after and, to achieve this, we are committed to improving the quality of social work practice to be the best in class.
“Over the last year, social worker morale has increased and this is evidenced by a decrease in staff turnover and agency staff, plus average caseloads for social workers have significantly reduced in that time.
“The council’s leadership and senior children’s services managers are spending time meeting with social workers who have been affected by the ‘Dispatches’ programme, supporting them to carry on with their good work today after a difficult night.
“We have brought in new senior management and are delivering improvements throughout the service to support our hardworking staff on the ground. We’re two years into a three-year improvement plan and there will be no change in leadership because continuity is essential if we are to continue on that journey.
“We have made the progress set out in our improvement plan, but we know there is still much to do, which is why we have asked the Department for Education to work with us and look at the steps that now need to be taken to make sure children and families in Birmingham receive the best possible care and support. As part of our continued improvement, it is the council’s intention to move voluntarily to a new model of children’s services – a trust.
“We are grateful to our staff and partners for all their ongoing efforts to achieve the best for young people in our city.”
Notes to editors:
Over the last year:
- Staff turnover has reduced from 20.5% to 16.8%
- Agency staff make up 23.5% of the city council’s over 700 qualified social workers and managers – down from more than 30%
- Caseloads have reduced from an average of 25+ to 15 cases per social worker