socialcareA major nationwide recruitment campaign has been launched to attract experienced social workers to work with children and young people on the Isle of Wight.

The campaign will see advertisements placed in professional publications, on social media and in London and local newspapers.

Its aim will be to attract qualified, experienced and effective social workers to live and work on the Island. It is part of the plan agreed to improve child protection following last year’s Ofsted report that found the service here to be inadequate.

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It is hoped the campaign will both fill vacancies that currently exist and also help reduce the current reliance on agency or interim staff. It runs alongside an ongoing programme called Step Up that seeks to fast track the best performing local social work graduates into positions on the Island.

“The Ofsted inspection made it clear that the service was not up to standard and that urgent improvement was required,” said councillor Richard Priest, Isle of Wight Council cabinet member responsible for children’s services.

“Crucial to that will be making sure we have the right number of qualified, experienced and dedicated staff where they are needed within the service. That involves attracting new staff at all levels to join those hard-working staff already operating in often difficult circumstances not least because of the number of vacancies we currently have.”

The campaign seeks to attract social workers with salaries of between £28,827 and £38,155 including market supplements and benefits including discounted ferry and bus travel and membership of local gym facilities.

Cllr Priest said: “Projects such as Step Up and our recent targeted recruitment campaign to attract Island social workers who have been working on the mainland demonstrates that we are doing all we can and looking wherever we have to get the very best team in place to bring about the improvement we require.”

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