Dumfries & Galloway social work management under fire

THE RUNNING of the Dumfries & Galloway council’s social work services is still a concern – five years after it was slated by regulators.
Staff management and support has been flagged as a “significant risk” to the department in a new inspection report.
In 2006, the Social Work Inspection Agency (SWIA) called management weak and questioned the ability to change.
Improvement work costing at least £3 million has since got under way but the regulator still has concerns.
Now a new report by Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland says: “There was limited evidence of staff supervision from the file reading and the results of a staff survey conducted in 2008/09 indicated significant areas of staff concern about the process of change in the local authority as a whole and in social work services.
“Reports by the Care Commission into specific resources for children and adults reported a lack of consistency in staff support and supervision.” The department’s work with other agencies was praised.
Evaluation of young people leaving care and using mental health services had improved. And consultation with service users and their carers had improved access to services.
The inspectors have made four recommendations.
Council bosses have been told a local inspector will continue to remain in close contact to monitor progress.
Director of social work services, John Alexander, said: “The Care Inspectorate recognises the good work done to inform staff about the Change Programme.
“The scrutiny report’s recommendations highlight the need to continue that work.
“Under the Change Programme, workshops for people all across social work services have been arranged.
“Frontline staff will be able to discuss further the planned changes with senior managers.”