Croydon Council’s chief executive, Jo Negrini, last week rubber-stamped a £1,500 per person bonus payment to social workers, personal advisers and line managers in the children’s services department – less than two weeks after that department had been issued with a damning “inadequate” report by Ofsted inspectors.
Jo Negrini: trebles all-round
Other hard-working council staff, who have not received the bonus, have described it as a “great slap in the face”.
The council’s children’s services department undertakes a range of safeguarding roles for children, oversees adoption and fostering, and supervises hundreds of unaccompanied children who arrive in the borough seeking asylum.
But the 39-page Ofsted inspectors’ report revealed “widespread and serious” failures leaving youngsters at risk of domestic harm. The report blamed weak management for failing to ensure social workers followed protocols for missing children and those at risk of sexual abuse.
The report refers repeatedly to a lack of support for front-line social workers, a high turnover rate of staff and the council’s struggle to retain its social workers.
Negrini’s first response to these criticisms appears to be to throw money at the problem. Continue reading