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Old 23-10-09, 14:41
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Sheila Struthers Sheila Struthers is offline
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Default Balls clashes with social work leaders

Children's secretary challenged over time spent by social workers on record-keeping

Balls had first come under fire from Jim Couchman, Oxfordshire county council's cabinet member for adult services, and a former Conservative MP.

"The response of your department to Victoria Climbié and more latterly Baby Peter has been to impose a very heavy-handed bureaucratic system of records," Couchman said.

"Will you stand back now because that has led to our social workers having to spend far too much time in front of the screen and far too little time out there with the families that need your help."

Balls replied: "The answer to that is no … the idea that social workers who are dealing with complex cases of potential child abuse or neglect … wouldn't be making records or keeping track of what they do doesn't seem to make much sense."

He added: "The idea that you would use making records as an explanation for not getting out there and working locally with other professionals … I don't accept the idea that if we somehow went back to a day in which we didn't keep records somehow we'd improve child protection, I think that is really barking up the wrong tree."
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Old 23-10-09, 16:07
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Well, Balls is barking, that's for sure.

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