Council's �3.8m social services boost

YOUR county needs you - that was the stark message issued today by council chiefs as they issued an appeal for more people to train as social workers to prevent another Baby P disaster.

Graham Dines

YOUR county needs you - that was the stark message issued today by council chiefs as they issued an appeal for more people to train as social workers to prevent another Baby P disaster.

Suffolk is to pump in an additional �3.8million in the next financial year to recruit 50 new social workers and they are asking residents in the county to consider being trained to achieve the necessary qualifications.

The county council is making this pro-active bid in order to reduce the number of caseloads for social workers to an average of 15.


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Family break-ups, alcoholism, child neglect, and abuse are just some of the increasing tensions which are leading to a dramatic rise in the number of vulnerable children in Suffolk.

There are currently 390 children in the county who are the subject of child protection orders and there are 60 social workers specially trained to look after them.

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But the county-wide rise in children needing attention means the average case load in 25 per social worker, which is deemed to be too high to ensure they are given the proper attention they deserve.

Council leader Jeremy Pembroke said: “Our priority is to protect the most vulnerable and we must deliver the best possible service for the children of Suffolk.

“We have saved �6m this year through our Securing the Future initiative. We are going to invest �3.8m of that into protecting vulnerable children, on top of �1.4m extra cash which we have made available.

“That's �5.2m which shows our intent that we do not let any children slip through the net.”

The Baby P case last year, in which a little boy died of horrific and sustained injuries at the hands of parents, highlighted the need for social care to be improved across the country.

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