‘Transformed’ children’s services seek best social workers

Published Thursday, 8th February 2018
Rotherham Council social work team
Left to right: Maria Simpson, Fiona Barefoot, Simon Neves, Joe Burgess

Social workers are being offered the chance to meet children’s service leaders at a special recruitment fayre this weekend.

Just a week after being given a ‘good’ Ofsted rating for the transformation of its children’s services, Rotherham Council is now seeking new staff to help it continue on its improvement journey.

The job fayre is being held at the Council head offices – Riverside House, off Main Street, from 10am this Saturday, February 10.

Over the last two years Rotherham Council has led a campaign to recruit more permanent social workers as part of its overhaul of children’s social care.

Changes included lower caseloads, better management and more learning and development opportunities as well as locality based social work teams.

All these changes resulted in the need to recruit more permanent social workers to the Council, so a campaign was launched to attract more workers. This move has now paid off as a lot of teams are now full to capacity – bucking national social work shortage issues.

This weekend’s jobs fayre will give people the chance to talk to the leaders who have led this transformation process as well as the Ofsted changes.

Staff will be on hand to show case the last few remaining vacancies in children’s social care at the Council. The vacancies still needing to be filled include team manager and social workers for looked after children; advanced social worker practitioners and social workers for locality and first response duty teams.

Cllr Gordon Watson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services at Rotherham Council said: “We really want social workers to come and be part of the change here in Rotherham. We have shown this week that we are a Council to be benchmarked against, with the transformation of our children’s services, and now we want the best staff to help keep us on track to achieving a future ‘outstanding’ rating from Ofsted.

“Last week’s Ofsted report proved staff are our biggest asset, so getting this right is essential, which is why we hold regular fayres like this to secure the right staff to come and work for us.”

Ian Thomas, Strategic Director of Children and Young People’s Services at Rotherham Council added: “We have done very well in terms of recruiting permanent staff to come and work for us here at Rotherham Council – and that was before we were rated as ‘good’ by Ofsted.

“We expect this new rating will mean more people being interested in working here, which is great news. But just to be clear, we only want to take the best which is why we have not yet filled all our vacancies. People have applied and we could have filled the posts three times over, but we are clear that we need the right people, with the right attitude and the right commitment to come and work here if we are going to keep on moving forwar d to protect the most vulnerable children in our society.

“If you think you have got what it takes, then we want to hear from you. I will be on hand on Saturday, as will many of my top staff, so this is an ideal time for you to come and talk to us about whether working here is the right thing both for you and for us and I look forward to meeting you.”

Mr Thomas added he is particularly keen on hearing from social workers who have experience of working in a front line service.

He added the experience of agency staff has been instrumental in helping the changes needed in Rotherham to be implemented. But a permanent work force was better for stability and this is the direction the Council needs to now take. Having permanent staff on board also reduces costs for the Council, which has already made cost reductions of more than £1m through its year-long recruitment drive.

The fayre runs from 10am to 2pm in the customer services area on the ground floor at Riverside House, Main Street on Saturday, February 10. Anyone who wants to find out more about coming to work in children’s social care in Rotherham is encouraged to come and visit the fayre, where key social care leaders and workers will be on hand to answer any questions.

The Resourcing Team will also be on hand to help with interview tips and techniques and to help with the application process for those that need it. They will also be promoting Rotherham as a great place to live, as well as work.

For more information:

Go to the children's social work website