Vacancy rate in Scotland increases by a third

Vacancy levels in Scottish social care posts increased by about
a third in the last year, according to latest statistics from the
Scottish executive, writes Natalie

The figures cover children’s social work in the year
ending March 2003. Staff numbers remained similar, but the vacancy
level suggests a 4 per cent increase in posts, most of which were
in fieldwork.

The statistics also show that six out of 10 care leavers failed
to gain any qualifications when they left school. Sixty per cent of
care leavers were not in education, employment or training,
compared to just 14 per cent of all 16-19 year olds in

Education and young people minister Peter Peacock said:
“These statistics are a terrible indictment of a system which
still lets down too many children in care. Put simply, looked after
children are condemned to a life of difficulty.”

Last year the executive gave councils an extra £10 million
to improve education opportunities for looked after children.

The number of children on child protection registers increased
by 13 per cent to 2,289. Emotional abuse showed the largest
increase, cited in over 400 cases.

The number of looked after children stayed much the same as the
previous year at 11,400 children.

report here

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