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DUDLEY: Compliments increase for social workers

DUDLEY: Compliments increase for social workers

Dudley Council House, Image: LDRS

Social workers in Dudley have received a variety of compliments to their services during the coronavirus pandemic.

Compliments can be received from both internal staff and external referrals, such as those using social services.

Between May 2020 to present, 238 compliments were received by Dudley council’s social services. This compares to 108 for the same period in the previous year.

One compliment received said: “I’ve had a lot of social workers and some good ones but none of them compare to [redacted]. She needs an award and if not, I’ll buy her a trophy.’

“I’ll put it this way – I would be in jail if it wasn’t for [redacted]. Just her being there for me. When she has to use the other side of her she always talks around things to get people to do what they need to do so my needs are met.”

Another compliment read: “We wanted to send our praise and thanks to our supervising social worker, [redacted].

“She has guided us through some extremely turbulent times with our first foster placement, and has always made herself available to us when we have needed her assistance.

“We have regular contact with her and feel that the relationship we have built up is as such that we can discuss literally anything with her. Nothing seems to be too much trouble for [redacted], and she has on occasion gone above and beyond for us when we have not expected it, but very much needed it!”

“She seems to have a gift for knowing when someone genuinely needs help or just a shoulder to cry on. Not only that but she has built up a good relationship with our birth daughter who sees [redacted] as an important person with whom she can sound off to and gain a bit of external support whenever she feels it necessary.

“We would be grateful if our gratitude can be passed onto both [redacted] and her superiors – as she should be praised accordingly for her hard work and diligence – we are lucky to have her as our supervising social worker.”

SEND compliments have also drastically increased in Dudley. From April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021, 65 compliments were received, compared to 22 in the previous year.

Cllr Cathryn Bayton, Labs, St James’ ward said: “Dudley’s children and families’ social workers and support staff do an amazing job, that is challenging, stressful, but also rewarding and it is great to hear the positive comments children, young people and their families had to offer.

“All too often social workers are blamed for things going wrong and here in Dudley, against a backdrop of difficulties in recruiting to vacant posts, and the well documented Ofsted reports, rewards remain lower than in Wolverhampton.

“Its vital that social workers and support staff are truly valued for the outstanding work they do.”

Councillor Ruth Buttery, cabinet member for children and young people, said: “All of our children’s services staff work incredibly hard to support our children and young people, they have had to be even more creative and diligent this last 18 months, finding new ways of working during the pandemic.

“It’s incredibly gratifying to see that the number of compliments coming into the service has more than doubled over the last year, 238 compared to 108 in the same period last year and so many of them coming from young people themselves.

“Meanwhile, in the challenging time of covid and as we work to make improvements to our services, our complaints have only seen a 6 per cent increase over the same period, with us still receiving more compliments than complaints.”

“While we’ve plans in place to address the small increase in complaints, we’re really focussing on the positive and what we can learn from all of this feedback. To hear how our social care staff have helped children and young people through difficulties in their lives and given them self-belief and confidence for the future is almost overwhelming.

“We hope that everything we do helps to make a difference, but to hear first-hand the positive impact our staff have had on the lives of young people and the invaluable support they have given to foster carers, teachers and professionals makes me so proud of all of them.”


Words: Rhi Storer, Local Democracy Reporter

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