Moves to tempt social workers to Sheffield

Council chiefs say they are working hard to recruit and retain social workers after 35 left all in one go.

Tuesday, 17th September 2019, 12:49 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th September 2019, 11:30 am
Councillor Jackie Drayton

Sheffield Council says there have been problems keeping social workers and staff working with the Multi Agency Services Team (MAST) and in particular, holding on to experienced employees.

Coun Jackie Drayton, cabinet member for children and families, told a scrutiny meeting that the problem dated back several years.

She said: “When the commissioners were put into Rotherham and Doncaster councils, they put a lot of money in and they poached a lot of social workers. Sheffield had 35 leave in one go and a lot of those who left were the more experienced ones.

“We have worked really hard with HR as there is a national crisis in recruiting social workers. We can’t provide more money but we have thought of ways to tempt people to come to Sheffield.

“We have done a lot of work with HR on developing people who come in so they can get further training, we are offering them career breaks and giving them a learning mentor.

“There have been some gaps and we have had to use contract workers sometimes. We have had some workers from agencies who have more experience. We know about this and it’s something we need to build on.”

MAST has also faced problems with retaining staff. Coun Drayton added: “It’s an issue along with social workers and teachers. The job is really difficult and we do as much as we can to help.

“We are trying to give people opportunities as often people want career progression but that means we lose them from the bottom. We will continue to work on retention.”