Monro Review – a Hard Act to Follow
I wondered which of the big egos of the Monro Child Protection Review Team would be first to rush to express their prejudices firmly held and wise opinions. Well, first on stage is Marion Davis President of the ADCS who Community Care report as saying:
Independent social workers’ (ISWs) role in court should cease, according to Marion Davis, president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS). “We think they are an expensive part of the landscape,” Davis told Community Care. “Independent social workers are just some of the enormous number of people checking on what social workers do, which can undermine social workers’ professional judgement.” Davis said that over time, roles such as that of ISWs had a “detrimental effect” on the social work profession and morale. She said Eileen Munro’s review – on which Davis is a reference group member – would be “extremely helpful” in boosting social work confidence. When asked if the absence of ISWs in courts would have an impact on proceedings, Davis said: “I can’t think of one.”
I presume she issued this rant statement oblivious that fellow Review member Melanie Adegbite was billed as a self employed Social Worker (although confusingly also billed as a Social work practitioner / Senior Safeguarding Children Officer, London Borough of Bexley). Given the confusion, I am unsure whether Melanie Adegbite is in fact an Independent Social Worker and therefore whether she will feel as insulted by Marion Davis’ remarks as will all those hardworking ISWs out there. If Melanie is not an ISW then one should certainly be brought into in the Review Team if only to counter Marion’s half fully-baked contributions.
But seriously folks, I can see why Marion Davis is worried by ISWs. There have been many noises from government (both the past and current regime) about freeing social work practitioners from the local authority yoke perhaps by helping them set up Group Practices or Chambers, a bit like GPs or barristers. The problem with that, from the point of view of Marion Davis and other Directors of Children’s Services is that it would remove whole heaps of bureaucrats. And who sits on the top of those bureaucratic piles collecting huge salaries? Why, it’s Marion Davis and colleagues in the ADCS.
Great first act Marion. Now, who’s next to tread the boards?