More pay for toughest jobs

The government is considering encouraging local authorities to
pay social workers taking on the toughest cases more in an effort
to tackle the workforce shortage.

The Department of Health said that the idea is at the
“very early stages” of development. Discussions with
the sector are planned for the autumn, with the possibility of
guidance being issued by the DoH on implementation.

A DoH spokesperson said: “The government is aware that
there are problems in recruiting social workers and although we do
not have direct responsibility for recruitment and retention, it is
something that we are taking very seriously and are working with
employers to tackle the problems.”

Vacancy rates are particularly bad in children’s services
and in certain parts of London and the south east, where it can be
up to 50 per cent of the social services workforce.

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