Children: Social Services

Department for Education written question – answered on 8th January 2019.

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Photo of Derek Thomas Derek Thomas Conservative, St Ives

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support local leaders to deliver the best outcomes for children through the delivery of high quality children’s services.

Photo of Nadhim Zahawi Nadhim Zahawi The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The department is improving the quality of leadership through £2 million for the Local Government Association to provide support to lead members and chief executives, and are increasing our support of directors of children’s services. We have an ambitious programme to improve the social work workforce, which underpins transformative children’s services. We are also improving the quality of social work initial education through £24 million supporting Teaching Partnerships, and our fast-track entry programmes, Step Up to Social Work and Frontline, which have seen over 1,450 social workers trained. We are investing in professional development with £5 million annually for high quality programmes for those starting as social work practitioners, and over £4 million in total on supervisors and practice leaders.

Alongside this, we are creating effective system infrastructure to ensure high quality professional practice and standards become the norm, through the introduction of Social Work England and the National Assessment and Accreditation System. We are supporting innovation and regionally targeted improvement support (through the innovation programme and Partners in Practice), and building understanding of the evidence on what drives system improvement through the What Works Centre in social care.

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