With community editor
SO BUCKS County Council is contemplating recruiting social workers from overseas to improve the quality of its childcare services?
This follows an Ofsted assessment in August that labelled the council’s childcare services as ‘inadequate,’ which council leader Martin Tett described as a ‘wake-up call’ during a debate on the matter by the full council recently.
Council cabinet members say the problem has occurred because there is a shortage of professional social workers in the UK overall, and that Buckinghamshire has a particular problem because it is so close to London, where salaries for social workers are considerably higher than in our county.
In response, the council says it will invest a total of £5.8million to improve the service.
My view on this is that the council should not be contemplating recruiting social workers from other parts of Europe to look after children.
Surely they deserve the best possible care from the council?
They need people who understand their problems, who can empathise with them in difficult situations and who can relate to their cultural background.
I don’t doubt for one second that social workers from abroad are well trained and, in the main, perfectly competent – but will they understand our young people in the same way as a person born and bred in this country?
I am not sure, no matter how stringent the assessment they have to go through before being offered a job.
If the bottom line is that Bucks County Council has to divert more money to protecting some of the most vulnerable members of our society, then that is precisely what they should do.
After the meeting Martin Tett said: “Children’s safeguarding is the most important and serious topic that any council can have before it. It is the safeguarding and keeping safe of children in the county.”
Contact me at mort.smith@ trinitymirror.com with any comments or suggestions for a topic for me to ponder.