Councils are leading the changes in childrens’ services following the publication of the Munro report. Published in 2010, the Munro report recommended reshaping child protection services within local authorities.
One example is Cornwall’s safeguarding services which, in 2009, were deemed to have been failing to safeguard children. The council has since then embarked on a total redesign of operations under the direction of a new head of children’s services, Jack Cordery. Recommendations undertaken are the creation of Principal Social Worker posts, Consultant Social Worker posts and more junior posts which require a commitment to study for post-qualifying awards.
Cordery said “You need to have demonstrated your continuous professional development – that was not the case before, and not just in Cornwall. Here, everybody will always be doing development”.
Other Councils implementing recommendations are Cambridgeshire, Medway and Wiltshire. All are introducing Principal Social Workers into their child protection teams. However, although the government accepted almost all of the recommendations in the Munro report, there is still no statutory requirement for councils to implement them. Munro says that, although her report was seen as game-changing, it will take time to be absorbed and for new ways of working to be put into place.