£2,000 Bonuses For Welsh Social Workers

Extra pay and catchy adverts are being used to lure social workers in Swansea. Recruitment bonuses of up to £2,000 have also been introduced.

They are part of a drive to improve the council’s children’s services section following a report by Assembly inspectors.

Mark Roszkowski, head of children’s services, said: “Our staff have been brilliant, but they’ve been working against the odds. This is simply because we couldn’t attract experienced and permanent social workers to fill all our vacancies.”

The report by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) raised concerns about the service meeting requirements and targets, robustly protecting children, allocating work to avoid backlogs, providing sufficient guidance and support to inexperienced staff, and recruitment and retention of social workers.

But it also said the council had a range of well-regarded services including fostering, adoption, services for children with disabilities, accommodation for children in care and family support. Council bosses said significant improvements had been made since the April report.

Mr Roszkowski said: “The CSSIW report highlighted a number of areas where we are performing very well in Swansea.

“It also identified shortcomings in some services and some of the ways we operate. We have acted upon those findings.

“We have already introduced new systems and better working practices, which has speeded up the way we assess children and put in place plans to meet their needs.”

Mr Roszkowski said he hoped the new adverts and extra cash would yield results.

“Recruitment and retention of experienced staff is a major issue for social services departments across the country,” he said.

“We’ve improved the pay on offer to social workers, and we’ve introduced recruitment and retention bonuses. We hope the adverts attract a number of experienced social workers to work alongside our committed team.”