Hackney social services in line for less red tape

Hackney social services are set to be part of a pilot scheme to reduce bureaucracy after being singled out for praise by a national report

SOCIAL workers in Hackney could soon be free from bureaucratic red tape after a study highlighted their efforts yesterday.

Professor Eileen Munro’s interim report on child protection criticised box-ticking in child care, but praised the Reclaiming Social Work programme introduced by the council in 2008.

The programme has already seen a reduction in the number of looked-after children in Hackney and a 4.9 per cent drop in the cost of social care in the borough.

Now, the Secretary of State may allow frontline social workers in Hackney to use their judgement and fill in forms only when they see fit to improve the care they give to children.

Councillor Rita Krishna, Hackney Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “Hackney initiated reclaiming social work because we knew we could do better for children and families by working differently. We are glad that Professor Munro and others have recognised the potential of this work and are looking to see whether the approach developed in Hackney may positively affect national practice.”

Hackney is one of five local authorities singled out for the trial, along with Westminster, Cumbria, Knowsley and Gateshead.