Tory cuts are having a detrimental effect on the frontline staff they promised to protect, according to a report from the British Association of Social Workers.
Government cuts are having a detrimental effect on the frontline staff they promised to protect, according to a report from the British Association of Social Workers (BASW).
The report, released today, acts as “a stark warning” and describes how 77% of social workers have seen cuts to back office or preventative services leading to “an admin overload”.
Social workers are facing an admin overload and are, as a result, spending less and less time with vulnerable children and adults. Caseloads are unmanageable and the stresses on service providers, from the very top to the bottom, are creating an endemic culture of bullying.
The prime minister insisted when he came to power that there would be “no front line reductions”, implying that any changes will be directed towards back office operations.
The information relayed in the BASW report shows back office cuts are resulting in further pressure on front line staff having to pick up the administrative backlog.
The report offers suggestions for improvement, principally that public sector administrative staff should be redistributed:
Let social workers get back to what they do best: [We need] immediate measures to reallocate local authority administrative staff from less critical roles into children and adult service teams to ensure social workers are relieved of the admin tasks they tell us are preventing them from doing their work.
This report echoes BASW chief executive Hilton Dawson’s Left Foot Forward article last year, highlighting David Cameron’s ignorance to the responsibilities of social workers:
“We are becoming increasingly concerned by the current re-emergence of notions of the deserving and the undeserving poor. We have a Conservative leader using the recession as a smokescreen to disguise a political agenda of cuts and reducing the public sector.
“He would be better served putting resources into social services instead of taking them away. Cuts driven through by his government are effectively culling family support services by taking all their resources.”
How much more evidence does the prime minister need to prove that cuts to the public sector are causing significant damage to our services?