More must be done to retain social workers who support care leavers in Wales, a new report suggests.
Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) claims there are not enough experienced social workers to support both children in care and those who have recently left.
CSSIW oversees the country’s social services to make sure they are performing effectively. Their report claimed “urgent action” was needed to address the shortage of support for care leavers, despite finding some examples of good practice.
The report was based on inspections CSSIW performed between January and May last year. Over 300 care leavers and looked after children were interviewed.
A high turnover of social work staff was cited in the report as a cause for concern. CSSIW’s assistant chief inspector Nigel Brown said many social workers “were not staying” in their jobs and “moving on after a short period of time”. He said that this meant young people either leaving or still in care were meeting with several social workers and were not able to establish “stability in that relationship with their social worker”.
One of the report’s suggestions was that local governments should do more to make social work seem like a “more positive career route”.
CSSIW commissioned the report following a series of high profile scandals involving children in care. Perhaps the most notorious of these was the Rotherham child abuse scandal which was revealed in August.
Additionally, a study published in October found that the emotional needs of care leavers were regularly being neglected.
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