27 Jul 2010

The Children's Society is concerned by Ofsted's report, 'Safeguarding and looked after children', that only one in five social workers feel they have enough time to work effectively with young people on their caseload.

The Children's Society recently carried out research into child safeguarding with the NSPCC and the University of York which found that young people have huge difficulty in disclosing maltreatment. Such disclosures are made more difficult by the fact that social workers were overworked and did not have the time to strike up trusting relationships with young people.

Young people in care are amongst society’s most vulnerable children and in order to meet their needs and to develop positive relationships, social workers need to be well supported.

Ofsted found that only a third of organisations that responded from the Third Sector had made child protection referrals to the local authority in the past two years. Our research found that professionals’ perceptions (including those working in the Third Sector) of overworked social workers led to professionals not referring young people to children’s social care services. Where young people are in need of the extra support, professionals must develop confidence that social services will have the capacity and resource to deal with it appropriately.

Please contact Rafi Cooper in The Children's Society media office for more information - 020 7841 4422, rafi.cooper@childsoc.org.uk