Chief Social Work Officer provides annual report to council committee

Members of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s social work committee have this week received the Chief Social Work Officer's annual report.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 1st February 2022, 1:42 pm
The period covered by the report is April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021
The period covered by the report is April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021

Every local authority required is to appoint a professionally qualified Chief Social Work Officer (CSWO) as set out in Section 45 of the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994, and each CSWO is required to prepare an annual report to their local authority.

On Monday the social work committee was asked to consider the performance of the social work service in respect of key duties and responsibilities of the CSWO.

Social work services are delivered within a framework of statutory duties and powers imposed on the local authority.

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Services are also required to meet national standards and to provide best value.

A number of duties and decisions which relate, in the main, to public protection and the restriction of an individual’s freedom, must by law be made by either the CSWO or a professionally qualified and registered social worker who has been given delegated authority by the CSWO.

Ultimately, the CSWO remains accountable for all decisions.

The period required to be covered by this report is April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021.

This report outlined the continuing challenging context for social w ork services in Dumfries and Galloway, arising from the g rowth in demand for services, service complexity, new legislative responsibilities, specific financial and workforce pressures, and Covid-19, and how the service has responded to these challenges.

Against this background, the overall performance of the Social Work Service has improved with identified areas of good practice reflected in the CSWO’s report.

The report outlined the work carried out, including Single Access Point, Out of Hours Service, Children and Families Service (including fostering and adoption), Services for Adults, and Justice Social Work, featuring case studies.

Councillor Stephen Thompson, chairman of the committee, said: “This report gives an insight into the significant challenges in delivering a social work service during a global pandemic.

"I’m extremely impressed by the dedication of our staff and the continuing work being done to deliver first class social work services in Dumfries and Galloway.”

Councillor David McKie, vice-chair of the committee , added: “This report highlights the importance of social work services in our region, supporting our most vulnerable people.

"Given the demographics and the ongoing pandemic, social services in Dumfries and Galloway will continue to face increased demand for services and increased pressures on the available resources.”