More than 2,000 social workers `missing` from child protection

Social services directors say there is a shortage of more than
2,000 social workers in child protection services.

A survey by the Association of Directors of Social Services in
England carried out in July reveals a vacancy rate of 14.7 per cent
of field social workers, and a shortage of 9 per cent in
experienced managers.

The ADSS released the figures at a briefing in advance of the
inquiry into the death of Victoria Climbie, which begins on

Moira Gibb, ADSS president, said: “The situation is grim. We do
not have the full quota of skilled and experienced social workers
that we so desperately need in order to give every vulnerable child
the full protection he or she needs.

“The net we use in order to catch and support children and
families in distress is being stretched far too tightly. There is a
very real danger of some of them falling through,” she said.

The survey of 153 English local authorities, which achieved a
response rate of 51 per cent, found that many experienced social
workers are being replaced with more junior inexperienced

Government programmes such as Sure Start and Connexions are
attracting senior staff away from core social work positions, the
survey revealed.





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