Innovation projects ‘struggle to address social worker recruitment problems’

Projects funded by the Department for Education to test new ways of working in children’s social care are struggling to address issues with social worker recruitment and retention, research has found. A study into the first wave of initiatives funded through the DfE’s social care innovation fund, which launched in 2014, found that although a number of projects are succeeding in lowering numbers of children coming into care, those designed to address workforce issues are finding it tougher to make progress. Just a third of the 12 projects that aimed to improve social work turnover were able to do so. Of the 31 projects that aimed to improve staff knowledge and attitude only 29 per cent successfully met this goal. An even smaller proportion (19.3 per cent) of this group of projects were able to report that job satisfaction had improved through reductions in absence rates or use of agency staff. Read more.

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