Social Work Troubleshooter Sought

A troubleshooter who has turned around failing social work departments in England is to be drafted in to do the same in Dumfries and Galloway. He will be asked to help tackle the issues raised in a recent highly critical report on the department.

The move has still to be endorsed by Scottish ministers, the Social Work Inspection Agency and councillors. Council Chief Executive Phil Jones said the appointment could be a major boost to struggling social work services.

Mr Jones said: “I have written to the executive and the agency with the details. I am asking them to confirm that the way in which this is being taken forward is appropriate and that the credentials of this particular individual do actually stand up.”

If the move is agreed the expert would take forward the action plan to tackle the wide range of issues raised in the SWIA report.

Mr Jones said: “It needs to be the right appointment. I have been fortunate that I have found an individual who is available and who specialises in this work. Qualified people of this particular type are not that readily available normally so I think we are very fortunate.”

The SWIA report made 24 recommendations about how to improve the department. It found “systemic problems which severely impaired the ability to deliver a well-planned, responsive service”.