Vacancy rates hit by staff gaps in homes

Vacancy rates in social services departments rose last year mainly
due to shortages in residential care, according to a survey.

The annual snapshot from the Employers’ Organisation for
local government shows the proportion of staff vacancies rose from
10.7 per cent in 2003  to 11.1 per cent in 2004.

This included a 4 per cent rise in homes for younger adults, a 3.1
per cent rise in homes for older people and a 2.2 per cent increase
in children’s homes.

However, there were falls in the areas of children’s social
workers, from 11.8 per cent to 11.4 per cent, and occupational
therapists, from 18.7 per cent to 18.3 per cent.

The rises come despite a 10 per cent increase in council
expenditure on recruitment advertising.

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