The government is considering encouraging local authorities to
increase the pay of social workers who take on tougher cases.
The Department of Health confirmed that the idea – floated by
community care minister Stephen Ladyman – was in the “very early
stages” of development.
Discussions with the sector are planned for the autumn, with the
possibility of guidance being issued by the department on how to
implement such a policy.
Councils are increasingly resorting to paying “golden hellos” and
bonuses to attract and retain staff, but this scheme extends the
concept of rewards by improving pay for front-line practitioners
working with the most challenging clients or in fields where job
vacancy rates are worst.
The department also announced this week that it was expanding its
telephone advice line for people considering careers in social work
to offer a wider range of information about different career
options, training and financial support.