Recruitment and retention children's services social workers

Loredana Grigore made this Freedom of Information request to East Sussex County Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear East Sussex County Council,

This request concerns children's social worker recruitment and
retention.

1. Please provide details of your current recruitment and retention
strategy. What consideration has been given to options such as
international social worker recruitment, a 'grow your own' strategy
etc?
With regard to international recruiment, if considered, what costs
and
timescales are involved?

2. How many posts do you have that are designated as social
workers,
senior social workers, Team Managers? What proportion are filled by
social workers who are directly employed; agency social workers;
frozen or
vacant? What has employment of agency social workers cost the LA
over the
last 12 months over and above what would have been the cost had
such
workers been directly employed by the Council?
3. Over the last twelve months how many such social workers have
left the
employment of the LA and how many of these have simply 'swopped' to
becoming agency workers?
4. Over the last twelve months how many social workers have applied
for
frontline social worker posts? Of these how many were shortlisted
for
interview; attended interview; were offered jobs and accepted jobs?
5. How many social worker applicants were newly qualified; had less
than
two years experience; had more than two years experience? What was
the
'experience' profile of those who were offered jobs?
6. Who is the lead officer with responsibility for social worker
recruitment (name and/or job title)?

Yours faithfully,

Loredana Grigore

Freedom of Information, East Sussex County Council

 

 

Dear Ms Grigore

 

FOI Request ref: 6269 / Social Worker recruitment and retention

 

Thank you for your request for information about the above. Your request
was received on 19/10/2015 and I am dealing with it under the terms of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000.

We always aim to respond as quickly as possible, and in this case will do
so no later than 16/11/2015, which is the 20 working day deadline. The
deadline is counted from the first working day we receive it, not the date
a letter is written / posted or an email sent.

In some circumstances a fee may be payable and if that is the case, I will
let you know. A fees notice will be issued to you, and you will be
required to pay before we proceed in dealing with your request.

Please quote the above reference number in any communication regarding
this request.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Amilia Holland

Customer Information Adviser

 

East Sussex County Council

Communities Economy and Transport Directorate

W1D, County Hall

St Anne’s Crescent

Lewes

East Sussex BN7 1UE

 

Phone: 01273 482913
Fax: 01273 481208

email: [1][East Sussex County Council request email]   web: [2]www.eastsussex.gov.uk/foi

P  please consider the environment - do you really need to print this
email

 

 

This message is intended for the use of the addressee only and may
contain confidential or privileged information. If you have received it in
error please notify the sender and destroy it. You may not use it or copy
it to anyone else.

E-mail is not a secure communications medium. Please be aware of this
when replying. All communications sent to or from the County Council
may be subject to recording and/or monitoring in accordance with
relevant legislation.

Although East Sussex County Council has taken steps to ensure that this
e-mail and any attachments are virus free, we can take no responsibility
if a virus is actually present and you are advised to ensure that the
appropriate checks are made.

You can visit our website at http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[East Sussex County Council request email]
2. http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/foi

Freedom of Information, East Sussex County Council

1 Attachment

 

 

Dear Ms Grigore

 

FOI Request ref: 6269 / Social Worker recruitment and retention

 

Thank you for your request for information about the above, which has been
dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Your
request and our response are set out below. Please note that any
information we provide is subject to the copyright and reuse of
information terms and conditions set out at the bottom of this email.

 

REQUEST

 

1. Please provide details of your current recruitment and retention
strategy. What consideration has been given to options such as
international social worker recruitment, a 'grow your own' strategy etc?

With regard to international recruitment, if considered, what costs and
timescales are involved?

2. How many posts do you have that are designated as social workers,
senior social workers, Team Managers? What proportion are filled by social
workers who are directly employed; agency social workers; frozen or
vacant? What has employment of agency social workers cost the LA over the
last 12 months over and above what would have been the cost had such
workers been directly employed by the Council?

3. Over the last twelve months how many such social workers have left the
employment of the LA and how many of these have simply 'swopped' to
becoming agency workers?

4. Over the last twelve months how many social workers have applied for
frontline social worker posts? Of these how many were shortlisted for
interview; attended interview; were offered jobs and accepted jobs?

5. How many social worker applicants were newly qualified; had less than
two years experience; had more than two years experience? What was the
'experience' profile of those who were offered jobs?

6. Who is the lead officer with responsibility for social worker
recruitment (name and/or job title)?

 

RESPONSE

 

1.    Please see attached recruitment and retentions strategy. We are able
to recruit sufficient numbers of newly qualified social workers and do not
recruit international social workers. Please note some information within
the strategy has been redacted. This is because it amounts to Personal
Data as defined in s.40(2) FOIA.

 

2.    We do not hold an established set number of positions but work to an
allocated budget, so can only confirm the actual number of employees and
identified vacancies that are due to be recruited to. As at the end of
September, there were 305 employees in post and 9 identified vacancies.
There were no agency social worker roles at this point in time. On this
basis 97% of workers were directly employed. Over the last 12 months, the
agency cost was approximately £4,000 over the cost of employing those
workers directly, calculated on the FTE of hours worked in the period by
agency workers in these roles.        

 

3.    37 Social Workers, Senior Social Workers and Team Managers left
employment over the last 12 months from Children's Services. We are not
able to accurately identify employees who have become agency workers and
take on assignments with the County Council.

 

4.     

Applications received for CSD Social Work posts: 77

Applicants invited for interview for CSD Social Work posts: 42

Applicants sent job offers for CSD Social Work posts: 29

Please note:

This covers adverts that went ‘live’ from 1 October 2014 – 30 September
2015.

There may be adverts which are still ‘live’ so short listing and
interviews may not have been completed for these adverts.

We have included figures from adverts for social worker, senior social
worker and newly qualified social worker.

We do not hold how many applicants attended their interview or whether
they accepted the offer made.

These figures do not include applicants who have withdrawn their
application from the process.

Whether or not all applicants that applied were social workers links to
our response to question 5.

 

5.    Section 12 FOIA 2000 provides that a public authority is not obliged
to comply with a request for information if it estimates that meeting the
request would exceed the appropriate cost limit. This ‘appropriate limit’
is set out in the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate
Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004. The ‘appropriate limit’ for non Central
Government public authorities is currently set at £450. In relation to
staff time, this is calculated at a rate of £25 per member of staff per
hour. This effectively equates to a time limit of 18 staff hours.

 

To ensure an effective assessment of the time it would take to respond to
your request, I have asked the relevant officer to estimate how long it
would take for them to identify and locate the information you seek. The
estimate for responding to your request exceeds 18 hours and therefore
exceeds the ‘appropriate limit’. Where a public authority estimates that
responding to the request would exceed the appropriate limit, there is no
obligation on the public authority to carry out searches up to the 18 hour
limit. Section 12 effectively removes the information from the scope of
the duty to disclose altogether.

 

It would take approximately 20 minutes per application to review and
compile their qualifications and experience, it would then take further
time to compile this into a profile for those who were offered jobs.

20 minutes x 77 applications = 25.66 hours

This exceeds the recommended 18 hour limit for FOI responses.

 

6.    This information is exempt under s.40(2) FOIA as it amounts to
Personal Data. In Children’s Services, the Principal Social Worker has the
lead for Social Work recruitment.

 

 

I hope that this answers your enquiry. If you believe that the County
Council has not complied with the FOI Act in responding to your request,
you may ask for an internal review. If you wish to do so, please set out
the grounds of your appeal in writing to:

 

Philip Baker, Assistant Chief Executive, East Sussex County Council,
County Hall, St Anne’s Crescent, Lewes, East Sussex. BN7 1UE.

or by email to him at [1][email address]

 

Please quote the FOI reference number in any communication regarding this
particular request.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you then
have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. Generally, the Information Commissioner cannot make a decision
unless you have exhausted the County Council’s internal review procedure
as described in the previous paragraph. The Commissioner can be contacted
at: Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF. Tel: 0303 123 1113.  [2]www.ico.org.uk

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Amilia Holland

Customer Information Adviser

 

East Sussex County Council

Communities, Economy and Transport

W1D, County Hall

St Anne’s Crescent

Lewes

East Sussex BN7 1UE

 

Phone: 01273 482913
Fax: 01273 481208

email: [3][East Sussex County Council request email]   web: [4]www.eastsussex.gov.uk/foi

P    please consider the environment - do you really need to print this
email

 

 

 

Copyright and Re-Use of information

1. Providing you with documents under the Freedom of Information Act does
not give you an automatic right to re-use those documents in a way that
would infringe copyright – for example by making multiple copies, or by
publishing / issuing copies to the public.

2. Copyright in the information is owned by East Sussex County Council
and/or its contractor(s) unless otherwise stated. Brief extracts of the
material can be reproduced under the “fair dealing” provisions of the
Copyright Design and Patents Act 1988 (S.29 and S.30) for the purposes of
research for non-commercial purposes, private study, criticism, review and
news reporting.

3. We do not give permission for this information to be used for the
purposes of direct marketing.

4. If you wish to use this information then, in accordance with the
Regulations on the Re-use of Public Sector Information 2015, you must
first ask our permission. Such re-use may or may not involve the granting
of a licence and the application of a Fee.

 

 

 

This message is intended for the use of the addressee only and may
contain confidential or privileged information. If you have received it in
error please notify the sender and destroy it. You may not use it or copy
it to anyone else.

E-mail is not a secure communications medium. Please be aware of this
when replying. All communications sent to or from the County Council
may be subject to recording and/or monitoring in accordance with
relevant legislation.

Although East Sussex County Council has taken steps to ensure that this
e-mail and any attachments are virus free, we can take no responsibility
if a virus is actually present and you are advised to ensure that the
appropriate checks are made.

You can visit our website at http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.ico.org.uk/
3. mailto:[East Sussex County Council request email]
4. http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/foi