Government aims to lure ex social workers back

Campaign calls on social workers to retrain for free and return to the social work sector

The government has launched a campaign calling for social workers who have left the profession to undertake free training and return to work in a bid to tackle a shortage of experienced social work professionals.

The Local Government Association, Department for Education and Department of Health have launched a Come Back to Social Work campaign, to retrain free of charge both social workers for adults and children who have left the profession.

The aim of the campaign is to recruit 30 experienced social workers initially and re-train them to start work in local authorities at the beginning of 2017.

The campaign comes as the vacancy rate for adult social workers has risen from 8 to 12 per cent of the workforce and in children’s social work that figure has increased from 15 to 17 per cent between 2014 and 2015.

The closing date for those interested in the scheme is 30 September and successful applicants will be informed later this month. They will be provided with 13 weeks' training to prepare them to re-register with the Health and Care Professions Council and be ready for work within councils from early 2017.

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, the LGA's Community Wellbeing Board Chair, said: “The shortage of experienced social workers is reaching crisis point. Many talented people have left or are leaving social work, and increased reliance on temporary workers is resulting in spiralling agency costs.

“It is experienced social workers who might take career breaks after seven years that we are particularly hoping to tempt back through this campaign.

“It's easier than people think to come back to social work. This scheme will give 30 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 Come Back to Social Work pilot.

“We know that social workers are motivated by their passion for the profession and we hope to persuade those contemplating returning that they can definitely make a difference for people,” she concluded.

Further information about the Come Back to Social Work scheme available here.

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