Swansea social services could be facing major shake-up

SOCIAL services in Swansea could be heading for a major shake-up under new plans to improve support for vulnerable youngsters in the county.

Swansea Council has unveiled proposals that would see more social workers recruited and an extra £700,000 invested in frontline support for vulnerable children and their families.

The plans, which will also see an additional £1 million created from reorganising the department, will be discussed at a Swansea Council cabinet meeting at 2pm on Thursday.

Nick Tregoning, cabinet member for social services, said: “Protecting vulnerable children is a top priority. This investment of extra staff and resources will mean more children will get more help more quickly.

Proposals include creating an emergency response team of social workers, as well as developing six small child and family teams to cover the city instead of the current two large teams. The changes will also see more support staff recruited.

The proposals are part of the council’s plan to improve child and family services following serious concerns raised by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales

The inspectors report highlighted a list of problems about the ability of the department to meet its statutory requirements and targets and robustly protect children, to deal with backlogs, to provide sufficient guidance and support to inexperienced staff, and to recruit and retain of social workers.

The county’s social services department has been under the spotlight since the death of 13-month old Aaron Gilbert in 2005 at the hands of his mother’s partner, Andrew Lloyd.

The cabinet will meet at 2pm on Thursday in Swansea Civic Centre