We have joined the Local Government Association’s (LGA) scheme to encourage former social workers to come back into the profession.

The LGA, which represents councils across England and Wales, recently teamed up with the Government Equalities Office to reignite the Return to Social Work programme following its success in 2017.

The national scheme, which aims to get former social workers back into the care sector, has already trained and recruited dozens of staff.

Candidates will be eligible to apply for the scheme until 31 March, with the programme beginning in May 2020. Applications vary according to how long trained social workers have been out of the profession.

Nancy Meehan, Interim Director of Children’s Services, said: “As part of our ongoing drive to recruit more social workers we are very pleased to support this national initiative to encourage former social workers to come back into the fold – and we would urge them to consider Torbay as a very desirable location to relocate to with its beautiful and unique coastline and countryside.”

Councillor Cordelia Law, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services , said: “Recruiting more social workers is just one of the many ways we are working hard to drive up standards in our children’s services, a new children’s commissioner for Torbay has been appointed, our leadership is committed to improving children’s services as one of our top priorities, and we are also working to improve support for foster carers.

“It’s a really exciting time to join Torbay Council and we would urge former social workers to consider joining the team here.”

Social workers and support staff are highly qualified professionals and do one of the most important, challenging jobs across local government. They do an incredible job every single day, but too many are finding it difficult to return to work.

60 per cent of councils say the retention of care staff is one the biggest challenges facing the sector.

The LGA says that by getting more social workers back into our communities, we can ensure that vulnerable adults and children can continue to rely on the support of social workers they so desperately need.

Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:

“Councils are committed to ensuring children and adults of all ages have access to high quality care and support.

“We are delighted to open up the scheme again after it proved so successful last year. Councils are desperate to get good quality, trained professionals on their books.

“The LGA looks forward to working with the Government Equalities Office to ensure our communities are equipped with social workers that they need as demand increases.”

There are also a range of vacancies within children’s social care. Visit the social work pages to find out more.

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