Comment: Local authority spend on agency social workers

Stuart Gallimore, President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, said:

“High quality social workers are vital to the task of keeping children and young people safe from harm and improving outcomes for them and their families. As the level of need in our communities increases so too does our need for more people with the right qualities and skills to enter the profession, and to want to stay. Many local authorities face challenges with recruitment and retention and the flexibility provided by the agency workforce can be useful especially in managing peaks and troughs in demand for our services and the impact of a negative inspection outcome on the workforce. However, the market needs to be effectively managed to ensure it provides a quality workforce which is good value for money. All regions now have a Memorandum of Understanding in place to address these issues which are working well to reduce costs and prevent staff “churn”. A national recruitment and retention campaign which tackles longstanding stereotypes head on and clearly explains that good social work can, and does, change lives would help to encourage more people to choose social work as a career.”


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