Wiltshire Council is preparing for the rise in demand for social care with a £1.2m investment to support families and children.
It has agreed to fund additional social workers and support staff to provide a sustainable service for those people who need it most.
A strategy – approved by the council’s cabinet at its meeting today (3 July) – reaffirms the council’s priority to protect those who are most vulnerable and to ensure that social workers have manageable caseloads.
The Local Government Association has revealed that nationally 66,410 children were put on child protection plans in 2017. The figure has almost doubled in a decade.
Laura Mayes, cabinet member for children’s services said: “We need to ensure sustainable, future-proof and secure service for our families and children’s services.
“This will only be achieved by increasing the number of social workers and associated posts to reflect the growing demand can be managed effectively.”
The investment of £1.2m builds on the council’s robust approach to social work provision. Although children in need provision figures are similar to the level in 2013/14 the number of single assessments completed has increased by around 60%. There has also been an increase in the number of child protection investigations started.
Cllr Mayes said: “There is evidence of success in Wiltshire in the way we work with vulnerable families and we can build on this. Supporting and improving life chances for children and young people is at the heart of the council’s agenda.
“Ensuring that our children and young people are safe and healthy and that families have access to services that meet their needs at an early stage, is vital. It helps to ensure that every child and young person can have the best possible start in life.”