Frontline workers lack support and training, survey reveals

Almost half of frontline workers and their managers think they
are inadequately supported and trained, and more than half would
fear for their job if they blew the whistle on bad practice at
work, new findings reveal, writes Lauren

Community Care’s website survey of more than 200 staff working
in the sector finds that only 54 per cent receive the support and
training necessary to enable them to perform to the best of their
ability. Only 46 per cent believe their job would be safe if they
blew the whistle on a colleague.

Racism is also an issue. Seven out of 10 respondents claim that
they or their colleagues have been subjected to racist behaviour by
either service users or other members of staff.

Working long hours appears to be the norm, with more than 70 per
cent of workers working up to 10 hours extra a week on top of their
official hours. Only one in 10 workers say they actually arrive and
leave work on time.

Despite all these issues around the workplace, social care staff
claim only 55 per cent of employing organisations encourage
membership of a trade union, while just under two-thirds of those
who do belong to a union believe membership is useful.

Senior national officer for local government at public sector
trade union Unison Owen Davies said he was unsurprised by the
findings in relation to racism, long-hours, and

He added that, while some employers recognised the value and
benefits of membership, others tried to weaken the trade unions
“for reasons of either ignorance or malice”. He said Unison was
working with the Employers’ Organisation on ways to promote

The survey also shows that the move towards greater integration
between children’s social services and education, and adult social
services and health is being reflected in the rise of
multi-disciplinary teams sharing premises. A third of respondents
say they are now co-located with other professionals, of whom more
than three-quarters say the change has improved joint working.

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