Training ‘appalling’ for child care staff

A senior academic and former residential child care worker has
criticised training available for staff in the field who she said
had the “hardest job in the world”.

Dr Lesley Archer, retired senior research fellow at the
University of York, told the Second Annual Conference of the
Scottish Institute for Residential Child Care (Sircc): “I am
appalled at the level of training they receive.”

She said even the benefits of courses or conferences disappeared
“like water in the desert” when staff returned to work full of
ideas only to be faced with a negative workplace culture.

Her comments come in the light of the difficulties Sirccc is
having in filling its course leading to a BA in Social Work and a
Diploma in Residential Child Care, due to begin this September. So
far half the available places remain unfilled.

Institute director Kirstie Malcolm said: “There is an issue over
the replacement of social workers – both in the voluntary sector
and in local authorities – while they are in training.”

She added: “We know there are workers dying to come on our
course, but there have been no funds identified for them to do

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