Children’s social workers’ salaries must rise

 Children’s social workers will leave for less pressurised
posts unless their salaries are increased, delegates at a child
health and care conference were warned last week,
writes Amy Taylor.

Steve Love, assistant director of social
services at Hampshire Council, told the conference, organised by
Community Care’s sister magazine 0-19, that
social workers were being attracted towards adult and youth
services rather than children’s because they were often seen
as less stressful environments.

“We have to increase [children’s
social workers’] salaries,” Love said. “You can
get the same money as a Connexions advisor. Unless we make it an
attractive choice to work with children, social workers have got
other options open to them.”

His pleas follow the confirmation by community
care minister Stephen Ladyman in July that the Department of Health
are considering encouraging local authorities to increase the pay
of social workers who take on tougher cases (news, page 8, 31
July). The children’s green paper published earlier this
month reiterated plans to move towards a framework that
“fairly rewards skills and responsibilities”.

Love went on highlight the need for a better
workforce strategy, pointing out that agencies currently provided
better rates of pay for social workers than many local authorities.
“We see agency staff, who can work less hours, earn more
money. And that is enticing away some of our own staff.”

He added that the government needed to put more money into
children’s services to ensure the measures in the green paper
were met. “We are concerned that if we don’t see any
additional funding, we are not going to meet the requirements that
are being set out,” he explained

More from Community Care

Comments are closed.