Vacancy numbers for social work posts at Rotherham Council are at an all-time low, but a final push is still needed to fill certain jobs.
This includes filling a number of roles in the council’s busy multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH).
In a bid to attract the right candidates to the jobs, the council is telling people what it is like to work for the service now.
Team manager Tracy Moss, who has years of experience in local authorities leading MASH teams, said: “When I first came to Rotherham I must admit it was with a bit of trepidation. I had read all the stories in the media about child sexual exploitation and how the council was deemed not fit for purpose.
“Being part of a busy multi-agency safeguarding team in any council is a hard job where ever you are, just because of the nature of the job. But couple this with the fact this is Rotherham Council and all the issues that it is facing, then I knew I would have my work cut out.
“But having been in this role for nearly three years, I can assure people this is a council which is not the one people may have read about in the past.
“There is no doubt we are going places and I am proud to be part of this journey. It is hard work, but no more so than anywhere else I have been at. But what is here that I haven’t always felt at other places is a very positive organisational culture, where staff feel valued and their input is taken on board and acted upon.
“There is a great sense of ambition and pride in the strides that are being taken to overcome the demons of Rotherham’s past. There are of course still hurdles to get over, there is no doubt about that, but we are going in the right direction and most importantly we all seem to be going in the right direction together.
“I would certainly recommend Rotherham Council as a place to come and work as a social worker. Come and be part of the journey we are on. Come and make the difference that is needed.”
The MASH is the first point of contact for all new interactions about children, young people and their families who may be at risk. The service helps vulnerable children who may benefit from early help services as well as children in need of social work support, protection and care.
It also liaises with local safeguarding partners, including other statutory agencies, voluntary services, to share information and work closely together. Part of the role is also to work with family members, members of the public and also children and young people.
The team manager position plays a crucial role in co-ordinating and managing the daily activity and each of the organisations dealing with children and families to follow up on safeguarding concerns.
Ian Thomas, strategic director of children and young people’s services said: “Every one of our social workers play a crucial part in making sure all our children and young people are safeguarded and not at risk.
“The MASH is the front door to accessing the help that may be needed and that is why it is essential that we get the right people in this role to help us give the best we can to those that need us most.
“We are on an incredible journey here at Rotherham and we have made significant investments in our social work package in order to attract the highest possible candidates to the roles. This is paying off as we have seen our vacant posts filled, reducing our over reliance on expensive agency staff. Now we just need to fill the last few remaining posts.”
He added the MASH team is part of the wider “first response service”, which includes early help, police, health and other key partners.
The enhanced package offered by the council for social workers includes: industry leading salaries; annual retention payments; 15 days for training and development; and excellent career progression opportunities.
Current vacancies for permanent staff include team manager jobs in MASH, learning and development, and locality.
The council is also looking to recruit social worker roles in locality, duty, looked-after children and disability teams. Team managers are also offered the opportunity to expand their skill set by working in other teams.
To find out more visit: http://childrenssocialcarejobs.org.uk/