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West Sussex Children’s keyworkers receive overwhelmingly positive praise



An independent local survey of parents currently receiving services from Children’s social care and early help support from the Think Family service has praised the Social Workers.

Conducted by Professor Eileen Munro, the survey aimed to understand more about families’ experiences and included questions on whether they feel listened to, whether they agree and whether they find him/her reliable.

The report stated: “The qualitative feedback from the parents was overwhelmingly positive. When asked what they would change about the way their worker worked with them, the majority (61%) of respondents said there was nothing they would change at all.

“When asked if there was anything further they’d like to add, 92% responded with wholly positive comments about their worker. It is striking in the West Sussex parents’ verbatim feedback that when they receive good service the parents notice and are very appreciative.”

One family stated: “’Think Family’ have been brilliant. They listen to what I, and my children want and have helped me a lot with practical things like appointments, forms and simple things that have made a difference and having someone to talk to.”

Another wrote about their social worker: “She has been a life saver, really supportive to me and my daughter. She has been there if I need support myself and listened to us individually. She is a superb worker we need more like her.”

Stephen Hillier, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children – Start of Life, said: “The results of this survey are exactly what we expect from our social workers as our children deserve the best support possible.

“It makes me incredibly proud of them as these parents surveyed have clearly picked up on their keyworkers passion and dedication. Our social care team and ‘Think Family’ keyworkers do a remarkable job and it is great to see them getting the recognition they deserve.”

A similar survey was carried out in June 2016 which also reported very good findings with most parents having an overall positive experience with their social worker.

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Reports of anti-social behaviour across Crawley increase by as much as 780% during lockdown



At first glance it is an alarming and worrying increase. The figures from show how as the town entered lockdown at the end of March there was a huge increase in reports of anti-social behaviour through the following month of April.

Ifield had the largest increase in reports for anti-social behaviour with a huge rise of 780% in April 2020.

The figure for Ifield ward may be shocking but all other wards across the town have also seen a dramatic rise as well.

The following shows the percentage increase in reports of anti-social behaviour across Crawley for the first month of lockdown (April 2020).

Bewbush reported a 444%.

Pound Hill – 330% increase.

Northgate – 212% increase.

Broadfield – 150% increase.

Langley Green – 135% increase.

Southgate – 135% increase.

Tilgate – 118% increase.

Three Bridges – 100% increase.

Maidenbower reported – 81% increase.

So what has caused the sudden increase? Has the town suddenly become more ‘anti-social’?

Actually no, the answer has everything to do with the very lockdown itself and not what you would normally consider a ‘traditional anti-social behaviour’.

As the new rules were laid out then so most people acted correctly and obeyed them. But at the same time some didn’t and these people ended up getting reported by others.

Now a decision had to be made of how a report into a disobeyance of lockdown rules would be classed and in the end they were put under anti-social behavour.

Whether it was a report of a party happening in someones garden, through to groups of youths congregating on street corners, all these reports got filed under anti-social behaviour and saw the dramatic rise in figures.

One thing these figures have shown, however, is a glimpse into which wards were possibly obeying the rules more than others, OR conversely which ward residents were reporting more frequently on others.

But despite the dramatic rise Ifield did not actually have the highest number of anti-social reports in April 2020 across Crawley. Closer analysis of the figures shows that it was in-fact Broadfield that had the most reports.

Broadfield (which had a 150% rise) had 75 reports compared to Ifield’s 44 in April 2020 with Pound Hill (330% increase) receiving the second highest number of 56.

Looking at Ifields 780% rise, the actual number of anti-social reports in March 202 was only 5, while in April 2020 it was 44.

Our findings are supported by the response from Sussex Police over the figures.

District Commander for Crawley & Mid Sussex Chief Inspector Shane Baker said:

“Most crime types dropped sharply during the early stages of lockdown in April, however the suggested statistics does not reflect a true increase in reports of anti-social behaviour.

“After government restrictions were put in place to slow the spread of Covid-19, police received a high volume of reports of gatherings and Covid-19 related calls, these were recorded under anti-social behaviour and therefore it is not an increase in traditional ASB.

“We continue to monitor the situation closely and are committed to keeping our local communities safe and pleasant places to live, however overall crime is still well below this time last year.

Data for May 2020 has not yet been released, but it will be fascinating to see just how the data compares to the first month of lockdown and whether it raised more concerns of ‘anti-social behaviour’ or fewer.

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