“This request concerns the Council’s children’s social work provision for the 2015-16, 2016-17, and 2017-18 budget years. Please first just clarify your budget year (i.e. July to June).
1st April – 31st March
Then please provide a basic definition for permanent social workers and a definition for agency workers (i.e. staff who are used temporarily to cover shortfalls in permanent staffing levels)
Permanent Social Workers – these are employees of Devon County Council that are undertaking roles where it is a requirement to be a Qualified Social Worker.
Agency Workers – these are temporary staff that Devon County Council use via an agency to support services based on specific requirements
Then for each of the three years, please detail:
a) The average hourly equivalent pay for permanent social workers in the team, as well as the hourly equivalent pay for the most junior level of social worker you can employ.
2015/16 – £17.04
2016/17 – £17.40
2017/18 – £17.78 based on data available up until 31/1/18 – incomplete year
b) The average hourly wage for agency staff.
2015/16 – £37.18
2016/17 – £36.88
2017/18 – £40.54 based on data available up until 31/1/18 – incomplete year
c) The total number of permanent staff hours and the total number of agency staff hours.
2015/16 – 626874 hours
2016/17 – 601072 hours
2017/18 – 601814 hours based on data available up until 31/1/18 – incomplete year
2015/16 – 74634 hours
2016/17 – 81823 hours
2017/18 – 52145 hours based on data available up until 31/1/18 – incomplete year
d) The total cost of permanent staff members and the total cost of agency staff members.
2015/16 – £9,142,526
2016/17 – £9,402,924
2017/18 – £7,968,134 based on data available up until 31/1/18 – incomplete year
2015/16 – £2,997,354
2016/17 – £3,374,235
2017/18 – £2,499,394 based on data available up until 31/1/18 – incomplete year
e) The average time that individual agency staff members worked within the service (i.e. how long do they normally stay?).
2015/16 – 180 days
2016/17 – 174 days
2017/18 – incomplete year so data is not available
f) The proportion of agency hours that covered permanent staff vacancies (rather than maternity or sick leave).
2015/16 – 10.6%
2016/17 – 12.0%
2017/18 – 8.0% based on data available up until 31/1/18 – incomplete year
This % is based on the total agency time divided by the total Children’s Social Work Hours (Permanent and Agency)
Then, looking currently:
g) How many agency staff are currently employed covering permanent positions (not maternity or sick leave).
h) How many permanent staff members are currently employed.
i) the number of applications you had for the last five permanent social worker roles that were advertised (and over what time period this was).
92 during Feb 2017 and Jan 2018.
Finally, a couple of questions:
Do you have difficulties recruiting to permanent staff roles within the team and, if yes, please give suggested reasons for this difficulty.
Yes, experienced children’s social workers are difficult to recruit both locally and nationally as there is a shortage.
Do you offer any incentives as part of the recruitment of social workers, either to the social worker themselves or a recruitment consultant?”