Sheffield news Shock £17m agency staff bill for Bradford children's services PremierLeague-News.Com

PremierLeague-News.Com - The figure had increased four-fold in three years - and the Covid pandemic is to blame for the recent rise

Sheffield news Shock £17m agency staff bill for Bradford children's services PremierLeague-News.Com

PremierLeague-News.Com - The figure had increased four-fold in three years - and the Covid pandemic is to blame for the recent rise

Sheffield news  Shock £17m agency staff bill for Bradford children's services PremierLeague-News.Com
06 April 2021 - 15:30

PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Bradford Council's bill for agency staff to work in children's social work has quadrupled in three years – and currently runs at £17 million a year. It means the department is currently spending around £1.5 million a month on agency staff. The figures were revealed in a financial document being discussed by Bradford Council 's Executive. The Quarter 4 financial report said the council’s social care budget has overspent by £4.9 million in the past year due to higher workloads and an increased reliance on agency staff. The Covid-19 pandemic was a major reason for the increase in taking on agency staff in the past year. Read More Related Articles Bradford heritage hall with royal connections may be transformed into restaurant Read More Related Articles Tragedy of much-loved Huddersfield teenager who went out late at night and died after slipping into canal As of February there were 149 agency social workers employed in the service. In April 2019 there were just 53. And it was recently revealed that 34 agency workers have worked for the council’s children’s services for over a year. Agency staff are not permanent council staff, but work for an outside agency and are brought in to work for the Council on a temporary basis, often to cope with staffing shortages. However, employing agency staff is more expensive than paying permanent staff. Children's services are involved in monitoring vulnerable children and young people, services to children in need, safeguarding, looked after children leaving care and also children with disabilities, fostering and adoption services. The report going to the executive said: “The forecast overspend is mainly due to the continued use of agency staff due to problems recruiting staff into permanent positions. “The amounts incurred on agency staff have increased significantly over recent years – £4.3m in 2018-19, £11.

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.0m forecast for this year – and are currently running at approximately £1.4m per month. Read More Related Articles Dixons ice cream man 'overwhelmed' as more than 5,000 sign petition demanding he keeps Beaumont Park spot Read More Related Articles Rebel Bradford hairdresser Sinead Quinn speaks out as Boris Johnson sets reopening date It says work is under way to boost recruiting, meaning fewer agency staff would be needed, but adds: “So far, agency staff numbers have continued to grow overall as a result of increased workloads resulting in the significant overspend.” Members of Bradford Council’s corporate scrutiny committee recently discussed the high levels of agency staff in the council, and heard that it is partly down to the need for Level 3 social workers to deal with the most complex children's cases. Councillors were told there were currently 37 agency staff who had worked for the council for more than a year. Of these, 34 were in children’s services. Chair Councillor Nazam Azam saod that in an ideal world they would like to have no agency staff. To get the latest email updates from MyBradford, click here . But finance director Chris Chapman said the “inadequate” rating given to the council’s children’s services by Ofsted in 2018 had put off many social workers from taking on jobs in the district. This meant more agency staff were needed to fill vital roles. He also pointed out that some projects – such as a road-building scheme – lent themselves to hiring specialist agency staff rather than recruiting a permanent staff member. Read More Related Articles Teenage lads from Bradford launch weekly panel show to rival Loose Women Read More Related Articles Bradford heritage hall with royal connections may be transformed into restaurant Richard Fawcett, assistant director for Fostering, said: “I’m clear the number of agency social workers is too high. We’ve been given a clear target to reduce those numbers. “We have to do it in a planned way, rather than disrupting the market and having agency workers leave because they don’t feel secure – because that would leave children at risk. “We do that by revising our offer and getting social workers to make that move (from other authorities) and by growing our own workforce by retaining and supporting newly-qualified social workers to create the workforce of the future.”

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