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Children’s services in Powys 'working hard on recruitment'

By Dominic Robertson | Mid Wales | Politics | Published:

Children’s services chiefs in Powys say they are getting to grips with staffing issues.

Councillor Gwilym Williams

One of the major issues identified in two critical reports by Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW), is the amount of expensive agency staff being employed by Powys County Council (PCC).

This has seen funding spiral upwards to £24 million.

In this year’s budget £3m to £7m has been set aside “in case of pressures,” in the service.

Recruitment teams have been at the Compass Jobs Fair for social workers in Birmingham as part of a recruitment drive that started earlier this year.

Health and care scrutiny committee chairman, Councillor Gwilym Williams, (Conservative, Disserth and Trecoed) said: “Retaining staff and getting more permanent staff comes up in every report.

“I’d like to re-emphasise it.”

Councillor Williams went on to ask whether social workers on the same grade were being paid more by other local authorities than Powys.

Councillor Williams added: “I want to see a report on that to see how much the difference is.

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“That must be a reason why we’re not getting enough retained stuff and we’re using agency staff.

“After the AGM we will have to look at the cost of the service and know a bit more.”

Head of children’s services, Jan Coles, said: “We’re working really hard on our recruitment and almost on a weekly basis we’re transferring people who have been working for us with an agency, onto our permanent staff.

“It’s really working well and we’re chipping away at the numbers of agency staff. You will be pleased at the progress we are making.”

Ms Coles claimed that money is not a major motivation for social workers.

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