Residential children’s homes are struggling to recruit suitable staff, according to a new survey.
In a poll of 841 children’s homes conducted by the Department for Education, more than half the managers featured said they found recruitment of suitably trained staff difficult. More than 90 per cent of such managers said applicants for posts in the homes did not have suitable experience, while more than half said the applicants they do receive did not have the qualifications required.
The survey also found that more than ten per cent of staff were paid less than the nationally recognised living wage (£7.65 an hour outside London and £8.80 per hour within the capital).
The results were published to mark the announcement of new qualifications for children’s home staff, which will be mandatory for all new recruits. The qualifications – level 3 and level 5 diplomas – require training on how to spot the early signs of child sexual exploitation and so-called ‘cyberbullying’ (ie bullying over the internet), as well as suitable action to take in response to such issues.
New staff will be required to obtain the qualifications within two years of starting work while managers will have three years.
Children’s Minister Edward Timpson said:
“While I have no doubt that the vast majority of care home staff display great commitment and relentless dedication in providing a stable and caring environment for those they look after, the simple fact is that quality matters.”
Read the Department for Education report here.
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