17 social workers are appointed at Children’s Services
THE government has announced the appointment of 17 new social workers to frontline posts within Children’s Services following a ‘hard-hitting’ international and local recruitment campaign.
The announcement came at the same time as the publication of the proposed Government Plan yesterday, which sets out the projects and priorities for children and young people that the government will fund over the next four years, subject to States approval in November.
This latest cohort of social workers was appointed following visits by States officials to recruitment fairs in Birmingham and Manchester as part of the Government of Jersey’s ‘Let’s Be Honest’ campaign, which it has described as a strategy to ‘build a more permanent and highly skilled workforce of social workers’.
Children’s Minister Sam Mézec said that work in this area was beginning to pay off, with signs of stability beginning to emerge in an area of the workforce that has previously seen high staff turnover.
‘Having a stable and highly skilled workforce of social workers is crucial as we seek to protect the welfare of our most vulnerable children and young people in Jersey,’ he said. ‘These latest figures show an increase in confidence in the improvements in Jersey’s Children’s Services and is excellent news as we work towards building a sustainable workforce. The recruitment and workforce strategy is beginning to impact upon staff stability and is providing a platform on which good practice can develop and flourish.’
The Government Plan sets out a number of other ambitions designed to ‘put children first’.
These include implementing a Children’s Services improvement plan, introducing prevention and early intervention services for families under the banner ‘Right Help, Right Time’, improving Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, and making it a requirement to consider the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child when setting new laws and policies.
Targeting sustainable funding for early years, schools and post-16 education, as well as improving standards in nurseries and schools, are further goals mentioned in the plan.
The Children’s Commissioner, Deborah McMillan, said: ‘I welcome the publication of the proposed Government Plan, and the focus of a priority specifically on children and young people,’ she said. ‘I am particularly pleased to see commitments to improve and invest in education, early years and mental health, to better support children and young people in care, and to further implement the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
‘As an independent body we will monitor the government’s progress in delivering their plan. Not only in those areas directly focused on children, but across all priority areas identified, as these too will impact on children and young people, both as service users and citizens.’
The States have also announced the appointment of Sue Butcher as interim director of children’s safeguarding. Ms Butcher is a former director and chief officer in children’s services at local authority, regional and national levels in the UK.