The Prevent and Channel Duties
“In many public services: health, education, strong views are being exchanged about the aims and scope of these duties. In family law circles, there is a particular, indeed acute, concern that we are imposing responsibilities on social workers which they are ill-equipped to fulfil.
As it is, social workers are under almost intolerable strain. Routinely they suffer violence and with one in ten posts standing vacant, average caseloads far exceed levels considered safe. When things go wrong, as inevitably they do, we cut them loose and condemn them. (Indeed, recently the government has mooted jailing social workers for child protection failings).
Contrary to popular belief, classic child protection involves extremely difficult judgments. Determining when and how to intervene in cases of suspected radicalisation, will require judgments of even greater sophistication and sensitivity.
It is little wonder then that Community Care is formally surveying its social work readership asking “are you clear about your local areas’ threshold for intervention where radicalisation is a concern?”; “how confident are you in your ability to assess an individual’s vulnerability to being drawn into terrorism?” and “has your employer offered training in the Prevent duty, and how it affects social work practice?”.