Social Workers Need Control

Social workers should be made more accountable, according to a local MP. Eric Pickles, who represents Brentwood and Ongar, would like to see a code of conduct introduced for social workers with a built-in disciplinary procedure.

“We have just seen various reforms put forward for the conduct of child care cases in the family courts,” he said. “But I don’t think they go far enough.

“Social workers should not have the free hand they appear to have, but need rules to work by like doctors and nurses.”

The MP, who has been fighting for justice for a Brentwood family who lost their two children to forced adoption, said he would be looking at ways to progress his suggestion.

He told fellow MPs he had been shocked at the way Essex social workers had maintained files and the misinformation contained in them when he pursued inquiries on behalf of the family.

During a debate on the Adoption Bill in March, Mr Pickles told the House of Commons that he had “been led a merry dance” by the social services department.

He has since had several meeting with Harriet Harman, minister for Constitutional Affairs, who is opening up the family courts to the press.