The Children’s Workforce Development Council launched a review of the £10m account last October but put an appointment on hold as a result of the fall-out of the Baby P case, which criticised social workers for not taking action to stop the 17 month old baby being abused and killed by his carers.
Any campaign to attract a wider pool of candidates to the profession will face an uphill struggle as a result of this latest scandal. Leading figures in the profession are also split as to the best way to improve recruitment.
The Government has this month proposed a new £9m scheme to persuade other professionals such as teachers and nurses to take a fast-track conversion course to retrain as social workers, which would be run by the CWDC.
However responding to the scheme Local Government Association vice-chair Jeremy Beecham says: “At a time when at least one in nine social worker posts is empty, such programmes are only a start.
“What is needed is a long-term drive to raise the status and recruitment of social workers for years to come, so that the best and brightest staff are on the frontline protecting vulnerable children, and want to remain in those positions.”