Workload pressures and Children's Social Work Teams 2

Mr J. Jones made this Freedom of Information request to Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council

The request was partially successful.

From: Mr J. Jones

4 September 2011

Dear Solihull Borough Council,

1. The Care Planning, Placement and Case Review Regulations 2010
(Care Planning Regulations)

a. Can you please specify the workload implications of the
implementation for Children’s Social Work Teams?
b. Did your Authority create any new processes and paperwork to
meet the requirements of these regulations? If yes please specify?
c. What work did your Authority undertake to identify the workload
implications of the above named regulations?
d. Did your Authority identify any resource implications for
Children’s Social Work Teams from the implementation of these
regulations If yes please specify?
e. How much average extra Social work time is required to meet the
requirements of these regulations per Looked after child?

2. Time off in lieu

a. How many hours are staff working on average a week for each
social work team?
b. Please specify the current average amount of TOIL balance per
worker for each of your Children’s Social Work Teams?
c. Please specify the current maximum amount of the TOIL balance of
any individual worker on each of your Children’s Social Work Teams?

3. Sickness absence and stress

a. If you don’t record ‘work related stress’ please provide the
current average level of sickness absence recorded as stress for
Children’s Social Work Services in comparison to the Council
average?

4. New ways of working

a. Have you implemented any new ways of working for your Children’s
Social Work Teams? If yes please describe and specify?
b. Do you have any plans to introduce further new ways of working
for your Children’s Social Work Teams in the next 12 months? If yes
please specify?

Yours faithfully,

Mr J. Jones

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From: Summerill, Joanne (Strategic Services - Solihull MBC)
Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council

5 September 2011

Dear Mr Jones

Freedom of Information request - Ref 3047

Thank you for your request for information about workloads, time off in
lieu, sickness absence and new ways of working for children's social work
teams, which we received on 4 September. Your request is being considered
under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) and we will
aim to provide you with a response by 3 October 2011.

For your information, the Act defines a number of exemptions which may
prevent release of the information you have requested. If this is the
case you will be advised of any considerations, subsequent decisions and
your rights of appeal. There may also be a fee payable for this
information, this will be considered and you will be informed if a fee is
payable.

You will be free to copy, distribute, transmit, adapt or otherwise exploit
any information disclosed to you providing to you that you do so in
accordance with the conditions which can be found on the council's website
[1]http://www.solihull.gov.uk/about/copyrig....

Advice on the Freedom of Information Act is available from the Information
Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9
5AF, telephone: 01625 545 700, website: [2]http://www.ico.gov.uk.

Yours sincerely

Joanne Summerill

Information Governance Assistant

Corporate Performance, Policy and Information Division

Tel: 0121 704 6169

Email: [3][email address]

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References

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1. http://www.solihull.gov.uk/about/copyrig...
2. http://www.ico.gov.uk/
3. mailto:[email address]

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From: Summerill, Joanne (Strategic Services - Solihull MBC)
Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council

14 September 2011

Dear Mr Jones

 

Freedom of Information request – Ref 3047

 

I am writing further to your request for information, which we received on
16 August.

 

One of the questions you asked was the following.

 

     3. Sickness absence and stress

    

     a. If you don’t record ‘work related stress’ please provide the
current average level of sickness absence recorded as stress for
Children’s Social Work Services in comparison to the Council average?

 

Please could you provide some clarification so that we can calculate
averages.  Current implies that you are asking for the sickness absence on
one particular day, and I am not sure that this is what you actually want.
 We can carry out calculations but we need a timescale to do so e.g. over
the last 12 months, over the last month etc.  Also there is not a single
category called stress.  The name of the nearest equivalent category is
called anxiety/depression/stress.  Would you be willing to accept averages
of this category?  Otherwise I think it would mean manually going through
each person’s records to identify how many people specified stress, which
may push the total time to deal with the request over the appropriate
limit of 18 hours.

 

Until we receive clarification from you question 3 will be put on hold. 
We are, however, continuing to deal with your other questions.

 

Please see free to contact us if you have any queries.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Joanne Summerill

Information Governance Assistant

Corporate Performance, Policy and Information Division

Tel: 0121 704 6169

Email: [1][email address]

 

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From: Summerill, Joanne (Strategic Services - Solihull MBC)
Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council

29 September 2011

Dear Mr Jones

 

Freedom of Information request – Ref 3047

 

I am writing further to your request for information about workloads, time
off in lieu, sickness absence and new ways of working for children’s
social work teams, which we received on 4 September.  Our response to your
questions is below.

 

     1. The Care Planning, Placement and Case Review Regulations 2010
(Care Planning Regulations)

    

     a. Can you please specify the workload implications of the
implementation for Children’s Social Work Teams? 

 

Head of Service has been working with a group of managers and other key
staff e.g. legal, L&D, to develop and progress an implementation plan.  
The main workload implications identified so far are:

 

·         Training staff in the new regs

·         Enhanced role of IRO

·         Increased LA responsibility to assess, and if needed, provide
support (including financial) to care leavers up to 25 years old.

 

     b. Did your Authority create any new processes and paperwork to meet
the requirements of these regulations?  If yes please specify?

 

·         We have updated our procedures and supporting processes and
processes, e.g. placement plan documentation, senior manager authorisation
for a placement including out of borough.

 

     c. What work did your Authority undertake to identify the workload
implications of the above named regulations?

                                                                                                                                                                                          

·         The group leading on implementation have considered all aspects
of implications – but no specific work has been undertaken so far on
workload.  Work is underway on looking a financial implication of Vol 3 on
Transitions.

 

     d. Did your Authority identify any resource implications for 
Children’s Social Work Teams from the implementation of these  regulations
If yes please specify? 

 

·         No specific additional resources implications identified other
than those mentioned above.

 

     e. How much average extra Social work time is required to meet the 
requirements of these regulations per Looked after child?

 

·         It is anticipated that there is likely to be additional social
work time needed to fully implement Vol 3. Work is underway on assessing
this.

 

 

2. Time off in lieu

    

     a. How many hours are staff working on average a week for each social
work team?

 

It is not possible to breakdown additional hours into a weekly amount. 
Some weeks staff will do additional hours and other weeks they will not do
any. The flexi time chart we use monitors monthly flexi time accrued and
taken.

 

     b. Please specify the current average amount of TOIL balance per
worker for each of your Children’s Social Work Teams?

 

The average flex for social worker (including unqualified family support
workers) is variable across teams

 

As of September 2011 –

 

·         Children with disabilities – average is 14.3 hours

·         Family Solutions - average is 11 hours

·         Child In Need team 1 - average is 22 hours

·         Child In need team 2 - average is 22 hours

·         Child in need team 3 - average is 26 hours

·         Duty Assessment and Referral - average is 14.5 hours

 

     c. Please specify the current maximum amount of the TOIL balance of
any individual worker on each of your Children’s Social Work Teams?

 

 

DART – Highest is 56, lowest is 0

CDT – Highest is 18 hours, lowest is 12

CIN 1 – Highest is 45 hours, lowest is 3 hours

CIN 2 – Highest is 53, lowest is 3 hours

CIN 3 – Highest is 96, lowest is 3 hours

 

The attached document is the flex management tool to monitor flexi time
and for staff with more than 35 hours an action plan is required to be
submitted by their line manager.

    

     3. Sickness absence and stress

    

     a. If you don’t record ‘work related stress’ please provide the
current average level of sickness absence recorded as stress for
Children’s Social Work Services in comparison to the Council average?

 

We are unable to answer this question as we have not received the
clarification we require to calculate sickness absence due to stress.
 Please could you provide the clarification we requested in the email
dated 14 September and we will be happy to look into this matter again.

    

     4. New ways of working

    

     a. Have you implemented any new ways of working for your Children’s 
Social Work Teams?  If yes please describe and specify?

     b. Do you have any plans to introduce further new ways of working for
your Children’s Social Work Teams in the next 12 months?  If yes please
specify?

 

All social work teams are constantly reviewing how they work.  The Council
has a New Ways of Working programme to increase flexible and agile
working.  Please could you provide clarification of what you mean by new
ways of working.

 

Once we have received clarification for questions 3 and 4 we will be able
to start dealing with the rest of your request.  The 20 day working
deadline will commence from when we receive the necessary clarification.

 

You will be free to copy, distribute, transmit, adapt or otherwise exploit
any information disclosed to you providing that you do so in accordance
with the conditions which can be found on the Council’s website
[1]http://www.solihull.gov.uk/about/copyrig....

 

I hope this information is of interest and assistance.  If however you are
dissatisfied with the response you have received and wish to request a
review of our decision or make a complaint about how your request has been
handled you should write to the Corporate Information Governance Manager,
PO Box 18, Council House, Solihull, West Midlands B91 9QS or email
[2][Solihull Borough Council request email].

 

Your request for an internal review should be submitted to us within 40
working days of receipt by you of this response. Any requests received
after this time will be considered at the discretion of the Corporate
Information Governance Manager.

 

If having exhausted the review process you are not content that your
request or review has been dealt with correctly, you have a further right
of appeal to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) for a decision. 
Generally, the ICO will not make a decision until you have exhausted the
complaints procedure provided by the council.  The Information
Commissioner can be contacted at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF, telephone: 01625 545 700, website:
[3]http://www.ico.gov.uk.

 

Should you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact
me.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Joanne Summerill

Information Governance Assistant

Corporate Performance, Policy and Information Division

Tel: 0121 704 6169

Email: [4][email address]

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References

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1. http://www.solihull.gov.uk/about/copyrig...
2. mailto:[Solihull Borough Council request email]
3. http://www.ico.gov.uk/
4. mailto:[email address]

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