The Role of the Registered Social Worker in Contributing to Better Outcomes for Scotland: Guidance for Local Authorities
This must not be allowed to happen under any circumstances. The Social Work services in this country, as you all should know, are not accountable to anyone. No matter what the government would like to portray.
I have spent 5 years trying to seek some Accountability with NO official assistance from the state .Have you ever tried to complain about 7 years of the abuse of your young child and the systemic failures that led to those horrific circumstances , including the failings of police, Sw, GPs health workers, teachers etc. have you ever tried to compile 3000 documents that incorporate 7 years of lies ,abuse neglect, untruths, errors, both willful and genuinely incompetent and then put all that in a form that can be readily understood and used to make a complaint. Have you ever tried to place all of that in a complaints form, such as those you receive from the SSSC? You should have a go, I bet you cant do it.
To remove responsibility (accountability) from the other agencies will only further reduce the level of scrutiny (which is currently almost zero) still further.
In my own case ,I came up against a SW department that having failed to protect my child from abuse and neglect including human bites, strangulation and far too many assaults over a large number of years. Decided that it was in their best interests to attack the referrer and engage in a cover up than deal with their failings and protect an innocent young child.
Quote from my QC
The language used betrayed the inadequacies of the SWD - in my submission - DH (Social work dept) often spoke of 'isolated incidents.' I submit it is impossible to see how this could be unless (a) the witness was unwilling or was unable to face reality or (b) was attempting, after the fact, to cover-up failure.
I submit it was a bit of both I submit, in fact, having considered the matter carefully, that elements of the conduct of the SWD in this case were cruel. Having decided what they would have liked to have been the case the SWD ignored what was the case and let a child suffer. . What happened on the only occasion when the court has something approaching a proper record (CP interview) was that A was harmed not helped.
There was the only interview that had even the pretence of being a properly recorded interview of A, in all the time his safety was in issue and this weighed against X and X and for E, that is, for A, for what A had been saying almost forever, almost to everyone. He was led in questioning. He was asked questions and when these did not suit the SWD's book he was asked again until they did but, despite, the best efforts of the SWD to clear X and X, I submit, it is clear from this statement (as it should have been clear to the SWD) that A was being seriously and damagingly abused.
The record made by the SWD was inherently flawed - even within its four corners. Even if everything else had been perfect the way this interview was conducted and recorded would have been sufficient, in my submission, to undermine the rest of the evidence for the SWD. The truly staggering thing is that this interview/report was the best - the best - the SWD had to offer - and it was inadequate to the point that it was dangerous - indeed, in fact, it left A in danger.
As a result of these CRIMINAL actions and failures I found myself and my advisors, including Annabelle Goldie MSP (quote every avenue approached has seen the door firmly slammed shut with no answer received )and two local councillors, blocked at every level of the Local authority SWs complaints process.
This ultimately resulted in my official complaints, being suspended, before they were even heard , Which were of course (backed by overwhelming and irrefutable evidence, of the type that no local authority would be comfortable with ), being faced with no where else to go, I then recognised that the police also had a statutory duty of care to my child and that they were also fully Accountable for their actions / inactions and could be held to be so, so I attended, reported and then pursued these through the official police complaints process.
Lo and behold, Police have now issued an apology for failing my young child and myself on at least 12 occasions dating back 6 years and have stated clearly that every line of enquiry, firmly points its finger at the SW (misrepresenting evidence etc.)
Without this Accountability that the police hold, I would have been left with no recourse to an agency (Sw) that was hell bent on protecting their own salaries and mortgages and as a direct result my child would have been left to continue to receive the horrific beatings, neglect and abuse meted out to him, spanning almost his entire young life.
If, we remove Accountability from these other agencies, then it is clear that both we and our children will loose a valuable route, that is the only remaining, viable counter balance to these wrongs, that is, once the Local Authority accept complete Accountability , we as parents or service users would have no-where to turn when grave errors and indeed in some cases, corrupt authorities decide to conspire, cover-up or indeed genuinely make a complete hash of their investigations. Which as we all should now know, SW are capable of conducting, almost on a daily basis, see Caleb Ness, Victoria Climbie, baby P or Brandon Muir.
We need more Accountability , not less and certainly not the handing of a blanket piece of control to SW and their oft corrupt, unanswerable, all powerful council authorities and incompetent not fit for purpose governing body the SSSC. (I made a formal complaint to the SSSC in may 2005), they still have made no decision, yes 4 years, for 3 of those years they have continued to allow the same worker to oversee a further 3 years of abuse and neglect of my child criminal neglect in my view and yet you wish to remove Accountability from agencies that truly can be held accountable and place it with the might and power of Social workers and their authorities who cannot?. ARE YOU CRAZY?
To remove Accountability from the police and other agencies may indeed save valuable resources, time and effort but it is WRONG, so wrong on every fundamental level and one of the most dangerous propositions for the safety and wellbeing of our children I have yet to hear.
What is required is equal and even more Accountability for all agencies involved in child protection, after all theses agencies are supposed to be equal partners in these investigations and that is the point that should be promoted and openly encouraged.
If, I had been left solely to deal with the SW and the Local authority, then I would no longer see my child and I fear that we would once again, be reading horrific news headlines. If indeed you place sole Accountability with SW then in effect, other agencies can and I submit will, take a step back when things are wrong and distance themselves from the real problems .We need complete inter agency co-operation and Accountability ,not that ,which you propose.
When it comes to matters of this nature, more often than not, they come under the banner of being criminal, why? Therefore, would you even consider giving Accountability to Sw for criminal matters?