December 10 2013 Latest news:
Monday, October 21, 2013
A major campaign to attract at least 50 new and experienced children’s social workers to Norfolk has been launched today.
Norfolk County Council’s ‘Better futures all round’ campaign follows an Ofsted report in February which branded the council’s arrangements for the protection of children as “inadequate”.
In August, the government issued the council with a direction to improve, with the risk that it could be stripped of its powers if things did not get better quickly.
A £5m investment in front-line social work in August has already seen more than 20 agency social workers join the council on the six-month basis from all over the country, including from north Wales, Manchester, Liverpool and Devon.
The council said that by increasing capacity in frontline social work teams, it will be able to give staff more manageable caseloads and support families to stay together, as well as helping children in urgent need of protection.
Cassy Barnes, a social worker based in the east of the county, is originally from Yorkshire but has worked for the council for nearly a year.
She said: “Norfolk is a fantastic place to work, not only is the scenery beautiful and steeped in history, but the people are welcoming and down to earth. I moved to Norfolk from Yorkshire to commence my first post in the duty and assessment team in Great Yarmouth. With this brought a plethora of exciting challenges and a breadth of work experience that has served to develop my skills and practice.
“It’s a great time to join Norfolk Children’s Services to contribute and take part in period of extensive and positive change in order to continually improve our service for the children, young people and families with whom we work. For me, my post in Norfolk has changed my life; not only do I enjoy my current post, but there is a great emphasis on training and development which will help me progress my career in my chosen direction.”
Adverts will be appearing in national newspapers and across London, including 1,000 on London Underground trains. The adverts promote the move towards manageable caseloads and exciting and rewarding challenges, as well as relocation packages and below average house prices.
In December, adverts will begin to appear across Norfolk, followed by another push in London and across East Anglia in the New Year.
The campaign includes a new microsite, highlighting the challenges facing Children’s Services and why Norfolk is a good place to live and work.
The site, www.norfolkbetterfutures.co.uk, also includes a message from Sheila Lock, interim director of children’s services.