North Lanarkshire Council’s Social Services Praised

Social work services in North Lanarkshire are among the best in Scotland, according to inspectors. The Social Work Inspection Agency (SWIA) looked at 10 key areas. Three were rated as “very good”, and the remaining seven as “good”.

Inspectors said social workers were improving the lives of many of the people with whom they dealt.

Their report also made a small number of recommendations for improvements to the service.

Leadership within the social work department was singled out for praise, as were the excellent partnerships with the NHS and other agencies.

Inspectors also commended staff for seeking “highly personalised” outcomes for people.

The inspection took place over a six-month period last year and involved 1,500 questionnaires being sent out to staff, carers and those who use the authority’s social work services.

Inspectors also scrutinised more than 100 case files and carried out face-to-face sessions with staff.

The Social Work Inspection Agency is evaluating every local authority in Scotland. Of 27 already inspected North Lanarkshire ranks second.

Executive director of housing and social work services, Mary Castles, said: “This positive inspection report reaffirms the high priority we place on delivering essential services to the most vulnerable people in our society.

“SWIA singled out our ‘highly motivated staff’ who like working for this council and who had a real vision for social work services in North Lanarkshire.

“It is extremely pleasing that they feel supported by managers and acknowledged the opportunities available to them for professional and career development.

Councillor Barry McCulloch, convener of the housing and social work services committee, added: “It is pleasing that this council is delivering a high level of service for its users.”