New Video Aims To Attract And Retain Social Workers In Highland
16th November 2023
Highland Councillors have welcomed a positive shift in the recruitment and reduction of Children's Services vacancies by 7% while noting an on-going recruitment and retention challenge across all social work services in the region.
To help address this challenge a recruitment video was launched today by Highland Council aimed at encouraging potential applicants to think about ‘Being a Social Worker in Highland’ and promoting it as a rewarding and exciting career opportunity.
Members of the Council’s Health Social Care and Wellbeing Committee were updated on a Workforce Strategy that seeks to improve the Council’s Social Work staffing situation.
The strategy aims to fill social work frontline and managers’ staffing vacancies in a profession that has been acknowledged by Social Work Scotland to have ‘significant recruitment and retention challenges across the country’.
Chair of the Health Social Care and Wellbeing Committee, Cllr David Fraser said: "I am pleased to see in this report that there has been a slight increase in the recruitment of children’s social workers and that vacancy rates have fallen. I am also delighted to welcome the 14 new Social Workers and 4 Team Managers to Highland and long may they remain with us.
“We all know the joy of living and working Highland and I am very hopeful that the new recruitment video featuring our own staff will support the Service in attracting qualified professionals to this beautiful and special region.
“The Council’s Programme ‘Our Future Highland’ is committed to ‘A Fair and Caring Highland’ and this is reflected in this workforce update as we acknowledge that it is especially important that the recruitment vacancy rate of social workers to our rural areas improves as well as in urban areas."
Improvements made to date in attracting new Social Workers in Highland have been delivered through Workforce Strategy approaches that included: a focus on staff welfare; a marketing approach to recruitment; expansion of the Council’s “Grow Your Own” trainee scheme; and support for student placements. Other professional improvement approaches for staff are also being implemented by the Service.
Margaret McIntyre Head of Children and Justice Services added: “We are committed to doing everything we can to ensure the welfare of our workforce, that we retain our frontline social workers and managers, and in doing so, this stability will strengthen and improve the delivery of services for children, adults, families and communities across the Highland.”
Anyone interested in becoming a Social Worker in Highland can view the recruitment video.
Highland Council continues to explore external funding opportunities to help families in the region who experience disproportionately higher levels of fuel poverty than the rest of Scotland. External funding is targeted at households classed as fuel and extreme fuel poor and is available Highland-wide.
The Highland Council is inviting applications from groups and organisations to the ‘Communities and Place' strand of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). £1 million of funding is available for capital and revenue projects, that will empower communities to build on their own strengths, support local needs, and deliver on the fund's main objective of ‘building pride in place and increasing life chances'.
A strategy which proposes a two-stage approach towards the development of vibrant community hubs in partnership with High Life Highland and sportscotland was agreed at the Council's Education Committee. The report set out the principles for investment over the long-term and the next steps to develop individual plans for each of the Council's 29 associated school group (ASG) areas.
The Highland Council are inviting all tenants to have their say on the rent levels for the year ahead. We encourage everyone that lives in a council house to take this chance to have their say, the results of this will have a direct impact on the services we are able to deliver next year and in the future.
Suppliers working in the wedding market are being invited by Highland Registrars to a newly established Wedding Fair. The Highland Wedding Fair will take place on Sunday 4 February 2024 with public access from 11.00am - 3.00pm (suppliers will have access from 8:30am).
The Highland Council has announced the timetable to make a final attempt to reform the 30 Community Council elections that failed to form in September 2023. Community Councils are voluntary organisations that express the views and concerns of local people within their area across a wide range of issues from new buildings and roads to local services and facilities.
For the first time, The Highland Council's Employability Service is offering Paid Third Sector Placements to unemployed Highland residents. Funded by the Scottish Government through the No One Left Behind policy, this initiative proposes 6-month paid work experience placements hosted by charities and non-for-profit organisations.
Highland Council's Playpark Strategy and Action Plan for 2023-2033 was agreed and adopted by members of the Communities and Place Committee on 29 November 2023. Resource - The service has limited revenue budget for maintenance of £176,900 for all sites.
It was announced on Friday 1 December 2023 that Workhaus Projects has been awarded the contract to carry out the interpretation for the interior of the Inverness Castle Experience. Workhaus Projects will combine creativity, design, technology and craftsmanship to create a world-class visitor experience within the transformed castle building, bringing the vision of content designers Mather & Co to fruition.
Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth has announced £900,000 in new funding for staff to tackle poor behaviour and attendance in schools. The funding will be provided directly to local authorities to train support staff to respond to new challenges and develop behaviour management strategies in schools post COVID.