Tonight, I decided to research the facts and figures when it comes to social work in Scotland, in the hope of getting an idea of the contributing factors in social work failure. Whilst I could not find a report detailing the 2017 spending, I did find a report from the accounts commission published in 2016.
The first thing that shocked me is that since 2010/11, Council’s funding in Scotland has decreased by 11%. Social work accounts for a third of their budget yet spending needs for social work have increased over the years. The number of children placed on the child protection register has increased a massive 34% between 2000 and 2015. 90% of senior managers in social work say they find it increasingly difficult to provide adults and children with the support they need to be safe. Despite this, the report also noted that Council’s were planning to save £54 million from social work in 2017 by reducing services and changing the ways they provide support.
So, as demands for social work support are rising, social work are being more and more restricted in the support they can provide. The NSPCC found in 2017 that emotional abuse, child abuse and children facing sexual abuse is increasing yet the organisation designed to protect these children is less and less able to save them.
There is desperate need of change here. These statistics are more than numbers – they are families being torn apart, childhoods being robbed and people screaming out for help that are being ignored. This is a real issue, this is more than numbers or a blog post. This is happening right now. 5 children have died today because of abuse. 5 children will die tomorrow. 5 will die the day after. And the day after. If action isn’t taken, that number will only get larger and larger.
Things don’t change without speaking out, raising awareness and letting the government know that this cannot be tolerated. Please share this post, talk about it with your friends, do some research of your own into the matter, get angry about it. Maybe one day in the future, these numbers will become more and more hopeful.