Much has been said in the world of children’s social care and beyond about the independent review of children’s social care, but there is consensus on the importance of involving stakeholders with lived experience of social care – both personal and professional – in its work. Back in May, the review team published their Workforce Engagement strategy which detailed the different ways that social care staff can contribute. This includes social worker polling from us at What Works for Children’s Social Care (you can sign up here). You might be aware that we’ve been regularly polling social workers for the last two years to find out their views and experiences on a range of issues, such as training on LGBTQ+ issues and areas where families’ needs are not being met. We polled about the Care Review earlier this year and asked social workers what they thought were the priority areas to focus on. The poll found that social workers want to see changes to service delivery in several areas, but early help featured particularly strongly, as did the impact of poverty.
Following the publication of the Case for Change, we are now supporting the care review team by running a special series of polling surveys to directly inform the review. The polls will run monthly from June to December 2021, with the first seeking to capture social workers’ responses to some of the areas highlighted in the Case for Change. Future polling questions will be determined by the progress and development of the review but may include themes that emerge from feedback on the Case for Change topics or potential recommendations and solutions.
It therefore cannot be overstated how important it is for social workers to participate in this polling series. Sign up is quick and easy and the polls only take a few minutes to complete. Each response will contribute to building a better picture of how social workers think and feel about the work of the review team and the opportunity to substantially reform children’s social care. There are, of course, other ways to engage with the work, but polling is open to all social workers and we hope people will participate in addition to other engagement activities.
Whilst this aspect of engagement is just for social workers, it’s important that children and young people are always at the heart of what we’re doing. Therefore, for every poll that’s answered, £1 will go into a pot of money for children and young people to have an end-of-year celebration. We’ll split the money between three randomly chosen local authorities. In parallel the review will also be carrying out an extensive range of engagement activities specifically for children, families and care experienced adults over the summer and beyond. You can find out more about these opportunities here.
So please, sign up for polling and encourage your friends and colleagues to do the same. Watch out for the results of each poll which will be published on our website.