Councils’ ability to recruit and retain high-quality social workers is one of the biggest risks to the future delivery of children’s services, senior leaders have said.

Managers and leaders in children’s services were concerned about recruiting and retaining staff over the next three years, according to a research study about the state of children’s services in England, backed by the Department for Education.

As reported by Community Care, the survey of up to 91 local authorities in England also found a third worried about social worker practice “becoming or continuing to be variable”.

Senior leaders were asked to pick three main risks to children’s services over the next three years. The top three concerns were financial pressures (89%), and an inability to recruit (57%) and retain (51%) high quality social workers.

The findings were from the first wave of research commissioned by the Department for Education designed to provide “a clear and up-to-date understanding of the key issues facing children’s services, and of local authorities’ implementation of policy related to children’s services”.

 

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