Jennifer Rogers says there have been strong improvements in that time, with the city's social workers delivering high quality social work practice and an increase in the number of audited files rated either Good or Outstanding.
This commitment to excellence in practice, quality assurance and continual improvement and learning was recognised by Ofsted in its inspection of Children's Social Care Services in March, with inspectors commenting that 'quality assurance arrangements are strong' and, as a result, there is 'a culture that is open to challenge and learning, which has led to a high level of consistent, strong social work practice'.
The Principal Social Worker has overseen a successful programme of learning and development for social workers and satisfaction rates are high, with more applying for progression opportunities this year.
She has also developed stronger relationships with the University of Wolverhampton, which has resulted in a number of collaborative events and initiatives including an opportunity for several social workers to undertake a part time PhD to enhance their practice.
Her report shows that the council has been proactively supporting the recruitment and retention of social workers across Adults and Children's Services and turnover is below the national average, with the majority of social workers saying they plan to stay with the council in the next 12 months. A stable workforce allows the council to embed good practice and provide children, families and adults with consistent workers.
The annual report will be presented to members of the council’s Cabinet when they meet next Wednesday (27 July).
Councillor Linda Leach, Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: "One of the key roles of the Principal Social Worker is to support the continual improvement of social work practice, and this annual report highlights the actions that are being taken to ensure that it is of an increasingly high quality here in Wolverhampton.
"As a council we are constantly striving to improve practice across the city and it's pleasing to read that, despite the Covid-19 pandemic and its after effects, social workers have been able to drive up standards still further over the past 12 months."
Councillor Beverley Momenabadi, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, added: "Our social workers do an incredible job in often very trying circumstances and, as a council, we will do all we can to support them in their role. I would like to thank them all for their efforts for our city’s children and their families, adults with care and support needs and carers.”
For more information about social care jobs available with the City of Wolverhampton Council, please visit A Career in Social Work.