Bid to recruit more Suffolk social workers

A major recruitment campaign has been launched to find around 50 new social workers to help protect vulnerable youngsters in Suffolk.It is part of a plan announced by council chiefs to step up protection of vulnerable children living across the county and comes in the light of the case of Baby P.

A major recruitment campaign has been launched to find around 50 new social workers to help protect vulnerable youngsters in Suffolk.

It is part of a plan announced by council chiefs to step up protection of vulnerable children living across the county and comes in the light of the case of Baby P.

Suffolk County Council is advertising for qualified social workers, senior practitioners and social care managers in services for vulnerable children. Adverts for family support practitioner staff and allied posts will follow.

Patricia O'Brien, Suffolk County Council portfolio holder for children, schools and young people's services, said: 'We are launching not just job adverts, but a major campaign to recruit qualified social workers nationally.


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'We took a decision a few weeks ago to invest �3.8m over three years to employ around 50 new staff, mostly qualified social workers to support and protect vulnerable children. Now we have to work very hard to recruit these vital specialist staff who are in short supply everywhere.

'We took the decision to employ extra staff because we have always said that support for the most vulnerable in our community is our absolute priority as a council.'

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'We are very aware of national trends and advice, and we know that as recession bites, it is some families and therefore children who will be at increasing risk. We are determined that our services to protect children and to support families will be up to the job.

'We must ensure that there are sufficient staff, with the senior and support colleagues to do that job.'

Lisa Christensen, director of children's services at Norfolk County Council, said the authority, like many others nationally, struggles to recruit as many child social workers as it would like.

'Being a child social worker is undoubtedly a tough job, yet one of the most worthwhile for those who work so hard to make a positive difference to society and the protection of children,' she said.

'In Norfolk, like many councils nationally, we find it difficult to recruit as many child social workers as we would like. However, we continue to advertise on an ongoing basis, and I am pleased to say that later this month we have a number of shortlisted candidates being interviewed.

'I welcome the national taskforce that has been set up to look at social work recruitment, and I hope it leads to measures that increase the number of people who qualify to become social workers.'

Anyone who is interested in the social worker positions in Suffolk should contact 08456 053000 or visit www.suffolkjobsdirect.org

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