Can local authorities check on effectiveness of Social Workers

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
Somebody should check up on how responsive social service department s are to enquirers from service users and Carers

Like they should have "mystery shoppers" send in letters or phone them up saying "I want a Carers assessment please"

How else do you suggest their performance could be improved?
Colin_1705 wrote:Somebody should check up on how responsive social service department s are to enquirers from service users and Carers
Like they should have "mystery shoppers" send in letters or phone them up saying "I want a Carers assessment please"
How else do you suggest their performance could be improved?
By not having their time wasted by people asking for services they don't need or are entitled to e.g. 'Mystery Shoppers'.

The LA I used to work for always used to invite feedback upon their performance and as far as I am aware still does.
In Hampshire we have a new call centre for learning difficulties. They were planning to record how long callers were waiting, but hadn't thought about recording the length of time callers were on the phone, until I suggestdd it. Having been a relief switcboard operator for a small hospital in Australia, and the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, I know how important it is for calls to be not only answered, but dealt with, promptly. Some calls I made initially were taking over half an hour for really simple things!
Our LA is one of the largest in the country. I've suggested that they consider paying service users and their family mileage to go to their office, rather than social workers coming to our homes. Thus saving 2 hours of staff time when there is a huge backlog of work. Idea immediately turned down.
Not surprised it was turned down and I can think of a variety of reasons to do so.

Accountability and misuse. Auditing would be a nightmare claiming expenses is complex and may have tax implications. Some would claim when they wanted just to go shopping for example. They'd just 'drop in' to the office and then claim.

Equality of service. Not everyone would be able to access the office.

Assessment of home situation. All part of getting the bigger picture and part of the assessment process, formal or otherwise.
LAs checking on the effectiveness of SWs ?

Isn't that like asking a fox to count the number of chickens in the hen house ?

Perhaps an outside Body ?

Terms of reference ?

For carers , the provisions of the Care Act would be a good starting point.

One such Report will be of interest to readers : ... adults.pdf
The effectiveness of social work with adults
A systematic scoping review
March 2016
Jo Moriarty and Jill Manthorpe
Social Care Workforce Research Unit
Estyn or the Audit Commission do make regular investigations into individual units from time to time.
Some local authorities Social Services depts do get put in Special Measures quite frequently.

I suppose social work managers should be able to identify poor performance?
Mick, that's typical of the negative attitude of so many LA staff. I was NOT talking about "dropping in" at all. I was talking about meetings which could be arranged anywhere.
Personally, I'd prefer NOT to have meetings at home, I've had enough visits already in the last 38 years to my one home during all that time. It's still the same cottage with the same number of bedrooms etc. etc. Admittedly it didn't even have a flush toilet in 1976 when we bought it. 40 years of love and care have turned into a cosy home with no less than three toilets!!!
There are no income tax implications, because expenses don't count as income.
As for "equality of service" that's stupid, it was giving choice to meet people's needs and wishes. Some clients may be wheelchair users, but that doesn't mean we all need a wheelchair to become clients.
In my area I have met people who have been waiting over a YEAR for important assessments. Given the acute pressure on resources that I'm fed up with hearing about, I was making a sensible practical suggestion to ensure that care managers were maximising their contact time with clients, rather than spending their time driving round the New Forest, hampered by ponies, holidaymakers and tractors involved with haymaking.
This is not a flippant statement. It can take less than half an hour, off peak in winter, to get to Southampton. At this time of the year you need to allow at least double that, even three times if your journey involves Lyndhurst.
BB, I may be stupid and negative, in your opinion - thanks but I am informed, experienced in working a very large rural County and realistic.
You didn't state 'planned meetings only' either.
I used to manage a scheme where we would meet clients out of office and out of their home but in the community and had a huge problem finding appropriate venues at minimal cost (another factor).
We found very, very few.
I once had a client which, including travelling time, could consume a whole working day (whatever that was) for 1 hours work but there was no way he could come into my office.
Another issue to consider is the lack of public transport available to those who could not access an alternative method of transport.
Love the 3 toilets bit btw. What was that about?
Out of interest has anyone contacted this body? ... orecolumn1
A "meeting" means something prearranged to me.
I was suggesting me going to the Social Services office, rather than visiting my home, so no cost involved finding a venue.
I was NOT suggesting everyone had to go somewhere else, just proposing it for those who might like to take advantage of it.
I said I didn't want my house inspected. It didn't have an inside flush toilet when we bought the house, but now has three.
So it appears you have jumped to two entirely wrong conclusions and not understood another point!
AllI I want is for my son to have the care he needs in accordance with legislation and government guidelines. If staff involved worked efficiently and effectively with clear procedures in place, this would easily be achievable. The current staff couldn't run a party in a brewery.
Even when the head of LD and the Head Complaints Officer and her deputy are involved, and clear targets have been set, they are STILL missed.