Referrals to social work remains static

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The number of adults referred to social work services in North Lanarkshire has remained static.

North Lanarkshire Social Work received 2317 adult referrals in 2017/18, which is a decline of less than one per cent compared to the previous year.

Most localities did record a slight reduction, but this was offset by increases in Airdrie and Wishaw.

The figures were published in a report submitted to North Lanarkshire Council’s social work sub-committee last week.

Councillor Tommy Morgan welcomed the report’s description of North Lanarkshire social work staff as “the glue that enabled partners to work cohesively, consistently and effectively” with “committed, effective and innovative practice in adult support and protection”.

People with mental health problems are the largest user group identified in the report, accounting for 37 per cent of all referrals.

The second and third largest groups are people with disabilities and the elderly.

The single biggest source of referrals continues to be Police Scotland, which accounted for 32 per cent of referrals during the year.

Psychological harm is the main reason for referral. A total of 1191 such referrals were received, which is 51 per cent of the total. The other major causes are assault, neglect and financial harm.

The number of referrals originating from health services increased from 278 to 310, or 12 per cent of the total.

The number of referrals from social work and housing services remained similar to the previous year, at 12 and six per cent respectively.

Referrals from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service have declined ten per cent, from 87 to 78.

Of all of these referrals, almost half do not require further protective action, but every referral requires significant assessment to determine whether this is the case.

Nine protection orders were granted during 2017/18.