Cabinet is being asked to approve a report that extends the enhanced rates for agency child protection social workers.
Birmingham City Council is aiming to recruit more permanent staff as art of a wider campaign and has attracted a number of newly qualified social workers as well as some with two years’ experience.
However, many frontline posts still need to be filled with agency staff and in October, 2013 payment rates had to be increased from those agreed in the framework contract to make them competitive with other surrounding Local Authorities, as without the increase Birmingham was struggling to recruit sufficient experienced agency staff to cover frontline vacancies.
Councillor Brigid Jones, cabinet member for children and family services, said: “Great social workers make a huge difference to children’s lives and are the key to improving our services.
“Our recruitment strategy is already bearing fruit with 98 new starters coming here between March and December last year. Many of our internal staff are also moving up the career ladder here to take on more responsibility and increase their contribution.
“However, we still need agency staff to ensure everyone has manageable case loads, of course this means paying them a rate that compares favourably with other West Midlands authorities.”
The rates shown in the cabinet report are rates chargeable by the agency and not payments to agency employees, and are in line with an agreement with regional authorities.
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