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Social work recruitment drive hitting the road

By Herald Express  |  Posted: October 04, 2012

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TORBAY is taking its campaign to recruit much-needed experienced social workers on the road.

The council's children's services department is taking part in several recruitment fairs across the country in the next few months to help fill vacant posts.

The aim is to reduce the number of costly agency staff, which is one of the costs pushing the service into the red, and provide more continuity for children and young people in need.

The first fair will take place in Manchester on October 15.

A new recruitment video called 'Make an Impression' will be played at the fairs. The film has been created by Denhams and uses a mixture of interviews with staff and scenic imagery from the Bay.

It highlights what Torbay has to offer those looking for a new challenge and lifestyle.

Accompanying the promotional video is a raft of short testimonial films from social workers giving more in-depth views and information.

They can be seen on the Torbay Council website www.torbay.gov.uk/socialwork

In July, there were 30 posts vacant, 40 per cent of the establishments. Many were being filled by agency staff at an additional cost of £1million a year.

The recruitment campaign is already generating interest and offers of employment are now being made, but there are still a number of positions available.

The service is already offering £1,000 payment to any Torbay Council employee who recommends a qualified social worker to the council.

Potential recruits who are new to the area can be shown around the Bay looking at areas to live, schools, colleges, and nurseries.

Help can also be given to family members who may need employment, making them aware of specific organisations within commuting distance.

The council offers a relocation package and has a retention scheme.

Richard Williams, director of children's services, said: "We don't deny that we have many challenges in Torbay but we are committed to continuing our improvement journey with our staff and partners to further improve the lives of children and young people in the Bay."

Cllr Chris Lewis, executive lead for children, schools and families, said: "This recruitment campaign is all about putting an attractive package together to encourage experienced social workers to Torbay. We don't want to rely on agency staff."

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  • Karen362  |  October 10 2012, 12:11AM

    clunk, click - hey, did I just hear a penny drop?

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  • SmartyC  |  October 09 2012, 11:55PM

    Wow! Security services knocking off pensioners to cut costs and social workers stealing children away from innocent parents to make a "profit" by some vague unspecified means. I think we should all be seriously concerned by these allegations, they do rather prove that care in the community isn't working don't they..?

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  • Karen362  |  October 08 2012, 10:27AM

    What d'you mean, Omni? I can only assume that you haven't got round to seeing Johnny English 2 yet? With so many inexperienced and, frankly, desperate recruits being employed on temporary contracts by the security forces (not to mention social services) these days, it's hardly surprising they're opting to bolster our archaic institutional framework rather than perform their intended function by reforming it. That's left to poor suckers like me, by the looks of things. I hate that song, BTW... to me it smacks of the kind of tit for tat psychological projections that undermine any kind of personal commitment these days... rather like the mediated relationships the state media invariably try to control us with day in day out... Oh well, might as well get it all off our chests before they pull the plug on us, I guess?

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  • omnivore23  |  October 08 2012, 9:13AM

    Children homes operated for the profit of staff? What planet are you on Chunder? Courts "always" act for social services against innocent parents? You have no idea how ignorant this statement is do you? Karen - I have to agree with you about the tendency towards organisations and those within them thinking within tramlines, having a tick box mentality and general arrrse-covering. You rather lost me when you seem to be suggesting that the security services knockoff people whose longevity threatens budgets but hey - 2 out of three ain't bad.

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  • Chunder123  |  October 07 2012, 9:26PM

    The bottom line is social services have got away with corruption of power and have taken kids from perfectly acceptable homes and parents and put them into these childrens homes which are mainly operated to make profit for staff. It's mostly all paper work with these people. THe fact they are given power and the courts act on this is concerning. THe courts always jump to the defense of social services in cases where parents haven't done wrong. Nobody is a perfect parent

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  • Karen362  |  October 07 2012, 8:07PM

    rational doesn't have an e, BTW

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  • Karen362  |  October 07 2012, 8:04PM

    I'm on your side, remember.... I don't actually work in the industry and am merely a researcher. I'm not sure it's always cock up, though. All institutions and those who work in them invariably form protective layers around themselves - hospital personnel traditionally cover one another's backs when surgeons are negligent or misdiagnoses are made, teachers close ranks when a complaint about bullying or exam cheating is made, and police officers have been known to hold grudges that stretch the length and breath of the globe and sometimes last for generations if someone says something to upset one of them. Since all this guff about multi-agencies was introduced, it now means if you try to take on one institution, you effectively take them all on... precarious as that may sound. Wasn't that what the Blair Witch Project set out to prove, after all? (ouch!) The trouble is, of course, in these days of career carnage and economic stability it's all so easy for anyone to fall foul of this kind of institutionalised defensiveness. The trouble with social workers is that many of them still work to a long-term plan and, rather like psychiatrists, who've gone to immense trouble and built their reputations, over years in many cases, on determining or engineering someone's ultimate outcome, they don't like to mark their copybook by having their verdicts overturned. This is why there's such a tendency to take institutional prisoners because they work on the rationale assumption that it could be their own head on the block next time if they don't cover up for the daft prat who got them into all this **** in the first place. To me this kind of scenario has sadly come to symbolise the demise of public institutions in general. Call it cock-up if it makes you feel any better, Omni, but this collective failure to acknowledge when mistakes are made has seriously damaged the public's perception of public institutions and their faith in any credible complaints process capable of sorting the messes out. Particularly when it's the security services who provide the final nail in the coffin when they're drafted in at the end game stage to do a clever, if grubby, pr job because the Revenue had already factored someone's early mortality into the final pension projections 10 years earlier. Is it any wonder anarchy is so in vogue again at the moment?

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  • omnivore23  |  October 07 2012, 6:57PM

    I think in academia that would usually be taken to mean someone with a doctorate Hugh. if not, given that I have o levels in maths etc I am a qualified mathematician

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  • hughanchor  |  October 07 2012, 6:51PM

    What on earth is a "qualified sociologist"?

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  • omnivore23  |  October 07 2012, 6:40PM

    that's an interesting take on "empirical" Karen - I can't think of too many sociological studies built upon the evidence of what some bloke said another bloke told him, but there again I'm not a qualified sociologist so what do I know :) I have to agree with you that there are deep structural issues in both mindset and practice in social work - but that this is grounded in the "cock up" rather than "conspiracy" theory of institutional failings. most people are doing ther best in a climate in which they are "damned if they do and damned if they don't."

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