The chief inspector of social services in
Wales has warned of increasing difficulties in recruiting and
retaining staff in the country.
In his third annual report Graham Williams
calls for renewed efforts to maintain staff morale and says that
staff recruitment and retention can only be improved through strong
partnerships involving employers, staff, trainers, local government
and the National Assembly of Wales.
The report says that good service and
professional leadership is more vital than ever, and stresses that
directors play a pivotal role.
“The director must champion the cause of
social services, and those who need them, and bring the perspective
of social services into corporate strategies,” it says.
The document also identifies a number of key
trends in social services. It shows that the overall level of staff
in the social care workforce with qualifications has risen from
19.1 per cent to 23.6 per cent.
The report highlights the growing tendency for
authorities to “spot purchase” residential placements where
children have complex needs. Councils were also using the private
sector to purchase foster care placements on a similar basis where
they were experiencing a shortfall in their own provision.
“These arrangements while expedient often do
not represent best value or good practice. Being placed outside
their home area can limit children’s opportunities for them to have
contact with their families, friends and even their social
workers,” says the report. It goes on to highlight the need for
authorities to make placements part of a comprehensive placement
In the section on adult services the report
notes that joint working requires close collaboration. It warns
that the demands of one agency should not overwhelm the objectives
“The added value of jointly organised service
delivery should be improved service delivery and bringing together
a range of skills and experience,” it says.
– Social Services in Wales 2000-1 Report
of the Chief Inspector from www.wales.gov.uk/subisocialpolicy/