Highland Councillors have welcomed a positive shift in the recruitment and reduction of Children’s Services vacancies by 7% while noting an on-going recruitment and retention challenge across all social work services in the region.
To help address this challenge a recruitment video was launched today by Highland Council aimed at encouraging potential applicants to think about ‘Being a Social Worker in Highland’ and promoting it as a rewarding and exciting career opportunity.
Members of the Council’s Health Social Care and Wellbeing Committee were updated on a Workforce Strategy that seeks to improve the Council’s Social Work staffing situation.
The strategy aims to fill social work frontline and managers’ staffing vacancies in a profession that has been acknowledged by Social Work Scotland to have ‘significant recruitment and retention challenges across the country’.
Chair of the Health Social Care and Wellbeing Committee, Cllr David Fraser said:
“I am pleased to see in this report that there has been a slight increase in the recruitment of children’s social workers and that vacancy rates have fallen.
“I am also delighted to welcome the 14 new Social Workers and 4 Team Managers to Highland and long may they remain with us.
“We all know the joy of living and working Highland and I am very hopeful that the new recruitment video featuring our own staff will support the Service in attracting qualified professionals to this beautiful and special region.
“The Council’s Programme ‘Our Future Highland’ is committed to ‘A Fair and Caring Highland’ and this is reflected in this workforce update as we acknowledge that it is especially important that the recruitment vacancy rate of social workers to our rural areas improves as well as in urban areas.”
Improvements made to date in attracting new Social Workers in Highland have been delivered through Workforce Strategy approaches that included: a focus on staff welfare; a marketing approach to recruitment; expansion of the Council’s “Grow Your Own” trainee scheme; and support for student placements.
Other professional improvement approaches for staff are also being implemented by the Service.
Margaret McIntyre Head of Children and Justice Services added:
“We are committed to doing everything we can to ensure the welfare of our workforce, that we retain our frontline social workers and managers, and in doing so, this stability will strengthen and improve the delivery of services for children, adults, families and communities across the Highland.”
Anyone interested in becoming a Social Worker in Highland can view the recruitment video