Birmingham City Council social workers sacked to improve services

Six Birmingham social workers have been sacked in a bid to improve the council’s heavily criticised children’s services.

Colin Tucker, director of the children’s services department at Birmingham City Council, said the social workers had been sacked for not doing their jobs properly, and for showing “no signs whatsoever” of adhering to the expected standards.

Ofsted has already branded the department “inadequate” following the deaths of a number of children including Khyra Ishaq, whose mother and partner have been jailed for starving her to death, the BBC reported.

A High Court ruling into the death of Ishaq found “in all probability” she would still be alive if there had been “an adequate initial assessment by educational welfare services”.

Tucker said: “We are not appointing some staff. As well as that we have dismissed six staff in the last year.

“They did not adhere to standards and expectations that we laid down. They showed no sign whatsoever that they were keen to do so, so we dismissed them.”

Tucker revealed there are about 120 vacant posts which were currently filled with agency staff, but he said he wanted to cut the number of agency staff being used to between 40 and 50 as the department recruits more permanent workers and continues with new training and focusing staff roles.

Last year research by Personnel Today’s sister publication Community Care revealed one in nine social worker positions were vacant, with many of the roles being filled by agency staff.

Tucker admitted there had been huge mistakes in management and training at the council’s children’s services department, which led to the service entering special measures for the second time since 2002.

An audit by a council scrutiny committee identified failings, including a shortage of experienced staff, inadequate monitoring, excessive paperwork, and too little time spent with children and families.

There are currently three serious case reviews now under way at the council.

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