Drop-in social work surgeries explored as part of radical study by think tank

The feasibility of setting up community “social service surgeries” and criminal records checks for council tenants is to be explored, as part of a study to be carried out by an independent think tank.

The work, which will be conducted by research organisation ResPublica, will focus on the role of the community in safeguarding children and will assess ways in which members of the public can make a contribution to the agenda.

Dr Sandra Gruesca, who will be working on the study, told CYP Now the research will look at new and innovative ways of working that will lead to an improvement in safeguarding practices.

It will explore the possibility of drop-in social work surgeries, similar to GP surgeries, as a way of encouraging members of the public to come forward to provide vital safeguarding information.

“At the moment you can have people who are unwilling to go to the police with concerns, possibly because of negative experiences they have had with them in the past,” Gruesca said.

In addition, the study will assess the role that local authorities have to play in checking on new partners or lodgers of council house tenants with children.

This could involve criminal records bureau checks to assess whether those moving into a property that is already home to a child, present a risk, in an attempt to prevent a repeat of the failures that led to the death of Baby Peter in 2007.