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Council joins national initiative to encourage qualified social workers to return to the profession

LGA social work bannerHerefordshire Council has joined the national return to social work programme, which aims to retrain children’s and adult social workers who have previously left the profession.

The initiative is a partnership between the Local Government Association (LGA) and central government, with support from the Government Equalities Office, and councils from across the West Midlands, East of England and London are the first regions to take part in the programme.

The LGA will work with councils to promote and support the recruitment of 100 experienced social workers into critical roles, whilst providing a high quality 12 week training package for those individuals looking to return to the profession in early 2018.

As social worker vacancy rates are at their highest in four years, the programme is crucial to help increase the number of social workers across the county and region.  The latest national figures show there were 5,540 vacancies for child and family social workers in 2016, which equates to 12.6% of the workforce, while the vacancy rates for adult social workers was at 11% in 2016.

Councillor Jonathan Lester, Cabinet member for young people and children’s wellbeing, said:

“We’re always keen to recruit qualified social workers, especially those wanting to return to the profession and make a difference to the lives of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

“It can be a little daunting returning to the profession after a period away, but the LGA is offering a comprehensive training and support package, which will help people to regain the confidence, experience and knowledge needed to get back to improving peoples’ lives.

“If anyone has been considering returning to the profession, I’d encourage them to take advantage of the return to social work programme and join us at Herefordshire Council and help us protect our children so they have the best start in life and enable older residents to live safe, healthy and independent lives.”

Councillor Richard Watts, Chair of the LGAs Children and Young People Board, said:

“This is an exciting time for social work as we launch our return to social work programme and announce that the West Midlands, East of England and London will be the first regions to take part.

“The programme will build on the success of our come back to social work campaign by offering tailored training and development placements to social work returners.  It’s easier than people think to come back to social work and this scheme will give 100 social workers the opportunity to retrain without cost.  If you left social work between two and five years ago you may qualify for a place on the return to social work programme.

“Social workers are extremely motivated by their passion for the profession and we hope that those who are contemplating returning take up this offer, as they can definitely make a difference for people.”


Published: Tuesday, 31st October 2017