In September 2012 an unannounced Ofsted inspection found that the county’s safeguarding arrangements for children was inadequate. Since then, an Improvement Board has been set up and plans put in place to make the necessary improvements and get back on track.
Following a review of the children’s social care team structure, changes have been made to boost management arrangements, provide a better career and development structure for staff and make sure caseloads are manageable.
As a result, the council has embarked on a national recruitment campaign to bring more permanent, top quality professionals into the county.
Councillor Patricia Morgan, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “We already have some excellent staff working in our children’s social care team, but we need to recruit more to make sure workloads are manageable and that the children who need to be protected are well served.
“Many of the posts we are advertising are currently being undertaken by interim and agency staff which has a big impact on cost. It also makes it difficult to provide sustainably good, consistent social work support to the children and families who need it.
“Recruiting social workers is difficult as they are in short supply and we are competing with local authorities across the country who are also trying to recruit which is why we are also offering one-off welcome payments and incentives for social care professionals to relocate to Herefordshire. We are looking for the best for these hugely important roles.”