Social work gets a good report

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SOCIAL work services at North Lanarkshire Council have received one of the best reports in Scotland from the Care Inspectorate.

The council was given a level one assessment which means ‘low risk, good performance and good improvement work’, one of only four in Scotland to achieve this positive report.

The Care Inspectorate is the independent scrutiny body for social work services in Scotland, which regulates and inspects care services and carries out social work and child protection inspections.

An initial scrutiny assessment was carried out at the council in November and December last year. This considered nine risk questions and involved a review of case records and analysis of core evidence from documents, focus groups and best practice presentations.

This resulted in the level one assessment, and the second phase of inspection included a further number of focus groups with service users and staff and interviews with senior managers.

Inspectors made only one formal recommendation that the council review its strategic approach to services for children with disabilities and their families. As a result, the council is taking steps to develop an action plan to progress this.

Councillor Sam Love, convener of the housing and social work services, said: “This is an excellent report for our social work services which underlines the high quality of work carried out by our staff to support vulnerable people across North Lanarkshire.

“Only one other council in Scotland has received a single recommendation as a result of the Care Inspectorate review, with most others receiving between four and seven recommendations.

“This supports the very positive assessments received previously by particular areas of our social work services including our work with high risk offenders, with prisoners at Shotts prison and on multi-agency child protection issues.

“Social work is a challenging area of activity for the council, especially at a time of severe financial constraints, and we don’t get things right for everyone.

“We will continue to strive for improvement even in these difficult times.”