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Social worker recruitment struggles

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Front
Social worker recruitment struggles

RECRUITING senior social workers to work in Dumfries and Galloway continues to be an issue despite the development of a home-grown employment scheme.

Dumfries and Galloway Council’s social work department introduced a Grow Your Own project aimed at finding employees locally and equipping them with the skills to make a difference in communities.
And while this has been effective in bolstering the workforce, finding higher graded social workers is a struggle.
The matter was discussed at Annandale and Eskdale area committee last week where a council social work spokeswoman said: “Staffing continues to be an issue for us. That’s a national issue, but we’re finding it much harder to recruit social workers.
“We’ve had a recent interview process and found it more difficult to recruit senior social workers.
“So that puts us in a more challenging position in that we’re trying to deal with more complex work – without the staff that we need to do that work.
“That creates issues for us and puts more pressure on the staff that we already have undertaking the work.”
Annandale East and Eskdale Councillor Archie Dryburgh asked: “Social work had a Grow Your Own system in place for many years, and I’m just wondering where that is at the moment?
“If we’re finding it difficult to recruit social work staff, do we still have a Grow Your Own system in place?”
The social work spokeswoman replied: “We continue with our grow your own scheme and that continues to be successful.
“The people we are able to recruit are family support workers. As career progression for family support workers, we have in place studentships that they can apply to each year .
“That is recognised as a really helpful and effective way of us recruiting and retaining staff.”

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