Nationally, children’s social work is facing significant challenges due to high turnover and vacancy rates and a heavy reliance on agency staff. The demand for permanent, experienced workers significantly outstrips supply and children’s social work is on the national occupational shortage list.
In Wolverhampton the picture is far more positive, and the numbers of social workers is heading in the right direction. Wolverhampton’s vacancy rate now stands at just over 10%; well below the national average of 13.6%. This marks a significant improvement on March 2019 when 28% of children’s social work posts locally were unfilled.
However the council is not complacent and is continuing to work hard to enhance the city’s offer to social workers and encourage them to either take up or continue their career in Wolverhampton.
Councillor John Reynolds, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: "This is a great improvement and good news for vulnerable children, young people and families across the city.
"Children’s social work is not an easy job and we are very proud of our fantastic social workers that provide the best outcomes for our vulnerable children.
"The increased focus on the wellbeing of our workforce over the last few years has been fundamental to recruitment and retention of social workers and enabled us to provide much needed consistency to the families we work with. We hope to see the vacancy rate tumble even further this year.”
Focussing on support and career progression, social workers at the City of Wolverhampton Council benefit from strong 'Continuing Professional Development', or CPD, with training tailored to reflect key priorities and areas for staff development.
There are also excellent opportunities for secondments to other teams, allowing staff to learn new skills and enjoy variety in their roles. Newly qualified social workers are closely supported by advanced practitioners and all staff are regularly brought together for both formal briefings and more relaxed ‘coffee and catch up’ sessions, allowing staff to communicate directly with senior leaders.
To find out more about social work opportunities in Wolverhampton, please visit A career in Social Work.