Social worker wage hike 'to protect vulnerable Wiltshire children and cut £900k agency bill'

This Is Wiltshire: Laura Mayes, cabinet member for children’s services Laura Mayes, cabinet member for children’s services

Extra funding has been secured to attract experienced social workers in Wiltshire, as the council seeks to recruit around 20 new child protection officers.

This morning Wiltshire Council’s cabinet approved 10 and 15 per cent ‘market supplement’ pay increases for senior social workers, in a bid to lessen its dependence on agency workers.

The council wants to fill around 20 posts in its four safeguarding teams across the county, and agreed to the increase after a review comparing its pay scales to other neighbouring authorities.

Laura Mayes, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “We are struggling to recruit into the safeguarding teams, and it’s important we get that right.

“They are the social workers working with families at crisis point. They are making decisions about children’s lives that are really life-saving; whether to put them on a child protection plan, or into care.

“We have a lot of agency staff in those positions at the moment, but we would like to recruit more permanent staff, and reward those who are currently here.”

Along with the pay rises, which will take place with immediate effect, the council has launched a recruitment drive aimed at attracting experienced social workers to Wiltshire.

Coun Mayes said: “There are many other measures we are putting into place.

“We want to reduce caseloads, give more administrative support, and we want to reduce bureaucracy, to free up more time to work with families.

"We also hope to improve and increase management oversight, and improve our training schemes so there is better carer development for our existing and new staff.”

The extra pay has been allocated from the council’s general reserves, but it is hoped employing less agency workers will still save money.

Coun Mayes said: “If we carry on paying our agency staff as we are it’s costing us £900,000 a year, so by paying a supplement to get more staff to stay we are saving money, it’s not even investing to save.

“The safety of Wiltshire’s vulnerable children drives everything we do and these proposals are aimed at attracting permanent staff to continue that commitment.”

Comments (13)

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8:43am Wed 23 Jul 14

Mrs Donnyfly says...

The Councillors could always decide to award social workers (who, as they admit, unlike themselves are making decisions about children’s lives that are really life-saving) a similar salary to what they pay themselves - because, after all, in the words of the Great Leader it is the grossly over-inflated salaries that are needed to attract the right people.
The Councillors could always decide to award social workers (who, as they admit, unlike themselves are making decisions about children’s lives that are really life-saving) a similar salary to what they pay themselves - because, after all, in the words of the Great Leader it is the grossly over-inflated salaries that are needed to attract the right people. Mrs Donnyfly
  • Score: 8

12:26pm Wed 23 Jul 14

beetawix says...

so are they are not getting it right due to bad decisions made by underpaid staff or lack of staff. ?
so are they are not getting it right due to bad decisions made by underpaid staff or lack of staff. ? beetawix
  • Score: 4

11:12am Thu 24 Jul 14

kimcrawley says...

Somebody should tell Laura Mayes that they have to provide a market supplement because nobody wants to work for a crap employer like WC.
They are the laughing stock of the country and now their stupidity will cost us 'customers' more in tax. How many more of their crackpot schemes will we have to shell out for?
Somebody should tell Laura Mayes that they have to provide a market supplement because nobody wants to work for a crap employer like WC. They are the laughing stock of the country and now their stupidity will cost us 'customers' more in tax. How many more of their crackpot schemes will we have to shell out for? kimcrawley
  • Score: 15

9:37pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Gladrags says...

OK, so having removed ALL administrative support some 7 years ago from childrens social workers and expected them to do it, leading to less and less time with the children who needed it, Having undertaken a "transformation" in organisation in 2010 which removed local teams who covered all that was needed and who knew thoroughly all local resources of support for children and families in their areas, having split "assessment " i.e. referrals into covering the county by 2 very small teams ( under a plan which was designed for small authorities such as Newport/ Swindon and not large rural authorities such as wiltshire) Having listened to the bilge which was spouted from management that all was well, OFSTEAD came in in 2011/ 2012 and found an absolute mess. One now ex wiltshire social worker had so many cases that if wilts had stuck to its planned maximum cases 3+ would have been needed to replace them. Agency workers have been brought in..... but for all they get paid more than wiltshire staff THEY will not stay. Wiltshire has developed for itself a rubbish reputation, taking on newly qualified sw's and burning them out with high level cases and too many of them. Wiltshire pays less than other counties anyway. ANd who suffers? The children. As for the money well, thats being partly garnered by closing Youth services so the young people who wiltshire cannot connect with will continue to be out on the edge with little/ no help or support. Wiltshire cares about its young people? I am only to glad I retired and take no joy in saying I told them so, which I did when this mess began to unfold......but then if you tell the truth in wiltshire and you work for them you are labelled- just as badly as our young people can be.
OK, so having removed ALL administrative support some 7 years ago from childrens social workers and expected them to do it, leading to less and less time with the children who needed it, Having undertaken a "transformation" in organisation in 2010 which removed local teams who covered all that was needed and who knew thoroughly all local resources of support for children and families in their areas, having split "assessment " i.e. referrals into covering the county by 2 very small teams ( under a plan which was designed for small authorities such as Newport/ Swindon and not large rural authorities such as wiltshire) Having listened to the bilge which was spouted from management that all was well, OFSTEAD came in in 2011/ 2012 and found an absolute mess. One now ex wiltshire social worker had so many cases that if wilts had stuck to its planned maximum cases 3+ would have been needed to replace them. Agency workers have been brought in..... but for all they get paid more than wiltshire staff THEY will not stay. Wiltshire has developed for itself a rubbish reputation, taking on newly qualified sw's and burning them out with high level cases and too many of them. Wiltshire pays less than other counties anyway. ANd who suffers? The children. As for the money well, thats being partly garnered by closing Youth services so the young people who wiltshire cannot connect with will continue to be out on the edge with little/ no help or support. Wiltshire cares about its young people? I am only to glad I retired and take no joy in saying I told them so, which I did when this mess began to unfold......but then if you tell the truth in wiltshire and you work for them you are labelled- just as badly as our young people can be. Gladrags
  • Score: 21

9:15am Fri 25 Jul 14

frankie007 says...

Another story that Jane & her cronies are trying to hide from the most commented list
Another story that Jane & her cronies are trying to hide from the most commented list frankie007
  • Score: 7

9:20am Fri 25 Jul 14

frankie007 says...

Another story that Jane & her cronies are trying to hide from the most commented list. Maybe just a computer glitch
Another story that Jane & her cronies are trying to hide from the most commented list. Maybe just a computer glitch frankie007
  • Score: 4

9:21am Fri 25 Jul 14

frankie007 says...

Another story that Jane & her cronies are trying to hide from the most commented list. Maybe just a computer glitch. Or maybe not
Another story that Jane & her cronies are trying to hide from the most commented list. Maybe just a computer glitch. Or maybe not frankie007
  • Score: 5

9:23am Fri 25 Jul 14

kimcrawley says...

frankie007 wrote:
Another story that Jane & her cronies are trying to hide from the most commented list
I think she is inspirational. She has proved that even though you have no business acumen, talent or ability it is possible to climb on the gravy train of public money. (Provided you have the right friends).
[quote][p][bold]frankie007[/bold] wrote: Another story that Jane & her cronies are trying to hide from the most commented list[/p][/quote]I think she is inspirational. She has proved that even though you have no business acumen, talent or ability it is possible to climb on the gravy train of public money. (Provided you have the right friends). kimcrawley
  • Score: 15

10:06am Fri 25 Jul 14

Terry Thunderstorm says...

kimcrawley wrote:
Somebody should tell Laura Mayes that they have to provide a market supplement because nobody wants to work for a crap employer like WC.
They are the laughing stock of the country and now their stupidity will cost us 'customers' more in tax. How many more of their crackpot schemes will we have to shell out for?
I agree. I was bullied twice by this awful Council and some of its incompetent and abusive managers. Too much under staffing, reduction if support, vacant posts, agency staff, ancient policy practices and duplicitous, pretentious , glib talk and too little 'do'.
[quote][p][bold]kimcrawley[/bold] wrote: Somebody should tell Laura Mayes that they have to provide a market supplement because nobody wants to work for a crap employer like WC. They are the laughing stock of the country and now their stupidity will cost us 'customers' more in tax. How many more of their crackpot schemes will we have to shell out for?[/p][/quote]I agree. I was bullied twice by this awful Council and some of its incompetent and abusive managers. Too much under staffing, reduction if support, vacant posts, agency staff, ancient policy practices and duplicitous, pretentious , glib talk and too little 'do'. Terry Thunderstorm
  • Score: 11

10:06am Fri 25 Jul 14

Terry Thunderstorm says...

kimcrawley wrote:
Somebody should tell Laura Mayes that they have to provide a market supplement because nobody wants to work for a crap employer like WC.
They are the laughing stock of the country and now their stupidity will cost us 'customers' more in tax. How many more of their crackpot schemes will we have to shell out for?
I agree. I was bullied twice by this awful Council and some of its incompetent and abusive managers. Too much under staffing, reduction if support, vacant posts, agency staff, ancient policy practices and duplicitous, pretentious , glib talk and too little 'do'.
[quote][p][bold]kimcrawley[/bold] wrote: Somebody should tell Laura Mayes that they have to provide a market supplement because nobody wants to work for a crap employer like WC. They are the laughing stock of the country and now their stupidity will cost us 'customers' more in tax. How many more of their crackpot schemes will we have to shell out for?[/p][/quote]I agree. I was bullied twice by this awful Council and some of its incompetent and abusive managers. Too much under staffing, reduction if support, vacant posts, agency staff, ancient policy practices and duplicitous, pretentious , glib talk and too little 'do'. Terry Thunderstorm
  • Score: 5

10:11am Fri 25 Jul 14

Terry Thunderstorm says...

It is about time too. Yes there are families in crisis in Wiltshire and it is the poor level of staffing and the poor quality fo Social Work practice that has put many struggling families at risk.

An earlier action may have prevented Wiltshire Children and Families from being investigates and sanction from the CQC.

It may also be appropriate to look at some of the existing mangers, as some of them have been part of this problem. A time of review is a good time to clear out and clean
It is about time too. Yes there are families in crisis in Wiltshire and it is the poor level of staffing and the poor quality fo Social Work practice that has put many struggling families at risk. An earlier action may have prevented Wiltshire Children and Families from being investigates and sanction from the CQC. It may also be appropriate to look at some of the existing mangers, as some of them have been part of this problem. A time of review is a good time to clear out and clean Terry Thunderstorm
  • Score: 9

11:25am Fri 25 Jul 14

whatisgoingon says...

I left Wilshire Council ,so glad ,nobody matters only county hall,I saw that the youth club in Devizes is having a day celabration of youth tomorrow on the green as the youth centre's are closing down,more young people that will need more services .
I left Wilshire Council ,so glad ,nobody matters only county hall,I saw that the youth club in Devizes is having a day celabration of youth tomorrow on the green as the youth centre's are closing down,more young people that will need more services . whatisgoingon
  • Score: 10

6:59pm Fri 25 Jul 14

Mrs Mint says...

Councils always see getting rid of Admin support as an easy way to save money. Anybody with an ounce of sense knows that Admin staff are the lowest wage earners, and getting rid of them means that professionals, who are qualified in field work, spend a large amount of their costly time in the office, typing up reports, letters etc, instead of working with families. Madness!
Councils always see getting rid of Admin support as an easy way to save money. Anybody with an ounce of sense knows that Admin staff are the lowest wage earners, and getting rid of them means that professionals, who are qualified in field work, spend a large amount of their costly time in the office, typing up reports, letters etc, instead of working with families. Madness! Mrs Mint
  • Score: 7

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