Chief Social Work Officer's Annual Report presents achievements and challenges

The annual report by the Chief Social Work Officer for Perth & Kinross Council will be presented at the next Full Council meeting on Wednesday 20 December 2017.

Covering the period 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017, the report, prepared by Jacquie Pepper, who is also the Council's Head of Services for Children, Young People and Families,  details the performance of the Council's social work and social care services in a year which saw major changes in legislation and policy, the first year of the Health and Social Care, and Criminal Justice Partnerships for Perth and Kinross, and continued increases in demand for services.

Despite these pressures, Councillors will hear that the results of external scrutiny and internal self-evaluation show a sustained and continuously improving performance. Notable highlights in the 2016-17 report include:

  • Care Inspectorate inspections showing continued delivery of high quality care services for children and young people; adults with learning disabilities; and older people.
  • Ongoing strong performance in how looked after children are cared for, with 95% in foster or kinship care placements.
  • A growing number of care-experienced young people between 16 and 21 years old are opting for and being supported through Continuing Care which means they are able to remain in their foster or kinship care placement into adulthood. 
  • A continued reduction in reconviction rates for adult offenders against the national average, alongside an all-time low for young people involved in offending.
  • More adults are opting for Self Directed Support, where they can make personal choices about how they receive care and support services.
  • 99% of people requiring support for problematic drug or alcohol use receive this within three weeks of referral.

The report also reflects that significant challenges lie ahead, with population increases expected along with a continued rise in demand for social work and social care services.

Council Leader, Councillor Ian Campbell, said: "This report highlights the breadth of social work and social care services provided here in Perth and Kinross, both by the Council and together with our partners in the public and voluntary sectors. It has been a challenging year but it also reflects that we have enthusiastic, motivated and hardworking staff delivering the care and support people need. I would like to thank Jacquie and her predecessor Bill Atkinson for their commitment to securing high levels of performance and focussing on transforming services so they can continue to be fit for purpose in a time of tremendous change."