Barnsley social workers accreditation scheme is a huge success

Cabinet Members have been informed of the outcomes of the highly successful piloting of the National Assessment and Accreditation Scheme (NAAS) in Barnsley, at their meeting this morning.

The Scheme establishes the professional standards by which all child and family social workers in England will eventually be assessed. It provides nationally recognised staging points in social workers’ careers. It will also help build the social care managers and leaders of the future.

Members heard how the percentage of Barnsley child and family social workers undertook the assessment and who gained accreditation, is the highest among the local authorities who were involved in the two phases of the pilot.

The learning which the Department for Education has derived from Barnsley’s experience of piloting the NAAS will significantly inform the roll-out of the scheme, nationally and contribute to continually improving the quality of practice at both local and national level. 

Barnsley’s Children’s Social Care Service has retained a stable workforce, with no reliance on agency social workers for over three and a half years. The Service has become over the last few years an employer of choice in the region and is able to successfully recruit and retain our workforce.  

Cllr Margaret Bruff, Cabinet Spokesperson for Children’s Services, said: “This experience provides further evidence of the commitment and passion of our child and family social workers to give the highest standards of practice when responding to the needs of vulnerable children in the borough, and I congratulate everyone who obtained accreditation through this pilot.

“In a period where social distancing and restrictions on movement could potentially increase the risk of hidden harm to vulnerable children, our practitioners continue to ensure that all such children are supported in full accordance with the range of our statutory responsibilities and that no child is exposed to greater risk as a result of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in Barnsley.  

“My sincere thanks go to our children’s social care workforce and other professions in the borough for continuing to ensure vulnerable children in need of help or protection receive the support they need during this challenging period.”

Barnsley Council will be celebrating Social Workers’ experiences of their involvement in the pilot in a number of social media posts.

The report to Cabinet Members can be read in full here.

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