A seemingly innocuous item on the agenda at the Vulnerable Children's Scrutiny Committee sent the press into a bit of a frenzy today. It concerned the recruitment and retention of Social Workers.
We have been doing some innovative work on recruitment as there is a national shortage of Social Workers. This includes recruiting the undergraduates from Birmingham Uni by paying their last years fees but the thing that really got them going was the information that we have a team in New York interviewing experienced
social workers for permanent posts here in B'ham. The Mail sent a reporter to the committee and the Post wanted a telephone interview. The Post wanted to know how many people went to NY, where they stayed, how much it cost etc etc. I am sure they would like to run it as a "Council Jolly" story but the fact is the 3 officers flew out Sunday and return this evening having secured 14 people with wide experience which will greatly help the experience profile of the workforce in what is the most important area of the Council's work, the safety of our children.
The BBC also got into the act on the same story. This was someone from the "Inside out" programme so you may have to endure Keith on the telly. He admits to having an ideal face for radio so please do not adjust your set.
Back at the committee after a long meeting we saw a DVD produced by children with disabilities via the Children's Society concerning a Charter for disabled children. Keith hopes to show this to full Council and possibly the schools. It is an excellent and moving production and if you get the chance to see it please do.