Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Labour's response to Baby P will cause more children to suffer.

So says Madeline Bunting a Guardian columnist in yesterday's edition of the Guardian. In the article she states:
When the balance sheet is drawn up of Labour's attempts to reform public services – its massive increases in health and education, children's centres and Sure Starts – there is one sorry tale that needs to be added to the deficit column. It is an unedifying story of idealistic ambition's unintended consequences, an obsession with accountability, a deluded faith in technology, alternate penny-pinching and enormous flamboyant unfunded commitments, and always a preoccupation with playing to the Murdoch media. This has been the poisonous recipe that Labour has applied to child protection and by the time the full extent of this chaotic legacy becomes clear, the party will probably have long since left office...

She goes on to say:
...This constant revolution has been compounded by intermittent bouts of intense media hostility to social workers. Ed Balls' collusion with the witch-hunt of Sharon Shoesmith, director of children's services in Haringey in 2008, is the most egregious example.

The result is a social work profession in turmoil: there is a national recruitment and retention crisis – some local authorities have been struggling with vacancy rates of 30 to 40%. The reliance on agency staff is chronic, and the churn rate in many areas makes continuity of case supervision impossible. Meanwhile the longer term legacy of Baby Peter has been a sharp increase (20%) in the number of children taken into care, yet no increased funding is on the table.

Every child only matters if you put in the money and the people who can make that meaningful, otherwise it's the equivalent of putting an "I care for the planet" sticker on your 4x4. Social workers have been given an impossible job; you have to be mad, desperate or heroic to want to be one. But it is abused children who will end up paying the steepest price.

So there we have it, a pretty damning indictement of Labour's 13 years in power and their contribution to children's social care.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice try to shift the blame onto Labour, but here in Wrexham, where I live, they aren't to blame for the binning referrals situation. I see on the WCBC website that the lead member is one Arfon Jones or Plaid Gwersyllt. One of his responsibilities is Safeguarding including: Child protection, Children and Families assessment (CAFAT). So he is responsible for this cock up or more to the point, he is unable to take control of the department for which he receives a substantial allowance.

Shouldn't he do the honourable thing and resign?

Plaid Whitegate said...

Anon lays bare the political reason for Labour's attacks on Wrecsam Council in recent days. Well done!

Any Anon Labourites care to comment on why their councillors voted AGAINST a 12% increase in children's social service budget?

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

Anon forgets to say why Labour didn't know what was going on...because their Co Chair of Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee couldn't be bothered to turn up at meetings that discussed these issues and challenges. Also why don't Anon Labourites check on their Social Services mouthpiece attendance record at Childrens Scrutiny Committee meetings. Incidentally the allegations of binning/shelving referrals are historical and have been investigated. If Lucas/Griffiths/Rogers had allegations to report why didn't they report them AT THE TIME in accordance with statutory guidance rather than wait and use children as a 'political football.' The reason why Labour don't know what's going on is because 'they took their eye off the ball' and didn't do what they get paid to for example attend meetings. Is Anon Labourite calling for Cllr Richard Caldecott to resign? The bottom line is that action by the Labour group the MP and AM is mischievous, undermines the morale of social workers and in the end puts children at greater risk.

Malcolm King's Shadow said...

Exactly how many Scrutiny Meetings has Malcolm King attended? Labour cannot even operate effectively as an opposition not to mention running the council. I think it is immoral and unethical for Ian Lucas to jump on the political bandwagon and to use children to pursue his own political interests.

Clem said...

Is Anon Labourite calling on Cllr Paul Blackwell to resign over the Plas Madoc Communities First 'cock up'?

WCBC anonymous said...

Where does it say in my post I'm a Labour supporter?

You little Welshies really are a ship of fools who see plots everywhere. You can't answer any question without sniping at someone else can you?

And if you don't like anon postings why allow them? If I said who I was you'd know which WCBC department I work for and no doubt with your vindictive manner, seek me out.

Plaid Whitegate said...

"You little Welshies" - didn't take long for that mask to slip.

Time to put the paranoia to bed too, WCBC Anon. If you work for the council, you should know the internal structures - your first post demonstrates that you do not.

Plaid Queensway said...

"you little Welshies", care to explain that comment?

Geordie Lucas said...

Duw, Duw, "Welshies" in Wales, well there's a surprise for you!
Is WCBC Anonymous Ian Lucas by any chance?

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

Now why should I resign? Because Labour Cllrs/AM and MP THINKS the Safeguarding and Support is not functioning as it should. So no I won't be resigning.