Scots warn on safety checks

Scottish councils could be employing social workers without the
necessary checks because of staff shortages and the time it took to
do a check, the parliament’s education committee was told
last month.

MSPs heard from social work chiefs that it takes eight to 10 weeks
for a check to be completed.

Alexis Jay, vice president of the Association of Directors of
Social Work said that because of the time there was a temptation to
“start this person on a temporary contract prior to receiving

She said however said that she had no evidence of this actually

However, Cosla’s social work spokesperson Eric Jackson said
it did happen, but councils would not give these recruits
“front-line responsibilities”.

MSPs were also told that the growth of new social work initiatives
in areas such as family services and youth justice was leading to
problems of recruitment in traditional child protection

The new initiatives were recruiting seasoned social workers from
children and adult services leaving these areas to be staffed by
overworked and inexperienced staff.

Local government union Unison has called for a review of social
work in Scotland. The union said that child protection services
could not operate with 40 to 50 per cent staff shortages.

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