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Cash incentive for new social workers
2:00pm Tuesday 24th September 2013 in News
EXPERIENCED social workers are being offered cash incentives of £4,000 to come to Worcestershire.
The county council says the extra payments – over and above annual salaries of up to £29,000 – will help it retain its best staff and attract other experienced social workers from around the country.
The council has re-designed children’s social care services in Worcestershire, creating 30 new social worker posts. It has recruited more than 20 newly-qualified social workers, but says it is vital that the remaining posts are filled by experienced, fully-qualified staff.
Despite the recruitment drive there are still significant vacancies in specialist roles for safeguarding, contact and referral and looked-after children permanency and it is specifically for these roles that the market forces supplement incentive of up to £4,000 a year is on offer.
Siobhan Williams, head of children’s social care, said the payments will help Worcestershire compete at a time when there is a national shortage of experienced social workers.
“This provides parity in pay with many experienced social workers in other local authorities and independent social workers,” she said.
“It will help us to attract experienced staff from other parts of the country who may already be attracted to work in Worcestershire but are put off by the potential reduction in pay if they move. It will also help us to retain our very experienced staff.”
The extra payment will be reviewed annually based on market forces and pressures.
Mrs Williams said a lot of work has gone in to ensure that the additional spending is justified.
“We know that the council is very mindful of the need to demonstrate that any additional money spent is worthwhile in the current climate and this decision has been subject to scrutiny from the council’s star chamber and appointments panel.
“I am very heartened that the safeguarding and welfare of Worcestershire’s most vulnerable children has been given such a high priority.”
Mrs Williams added that the extra cash is one part of a robust strategy to help Worcestershire recruit and retain the best social workers.
“Social workers stay for support and training and when they have manageable workloads and are able to make a difference,” she said.
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