Sunday, 13 June 2010

Social worker shortages - is there a quick fix?

The Nottingham Post reports that Nottingham City Council is apparently experiencing a shortage of children’s social workers with 15 vacant posts out of a total 96 and a further ten positions filled by agency staff. (

Reasons given for this state of affairs are the national shortage of social workers and the fact that social workers are being lured away by better terms and conditions to work for local authorities where the government has intervened because of poor Ofsted reports.

Staff shortages continue to plague child protection social work. After Baby Peter, Ed Balls promised to look at ways in which those who had left the profession could be enticed to return, but no urgent action was taken. Now with a new Government we have the much welcome Munro Review, but hard-pressed local authorities need help now.

Perhaps someone should organize a one-day think tank event to which ex-social workers are invited to give their views on what it would take to get them to return to practice?