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Issue:- 24/25 February 2009


PEOPLE living in Liverpool are being urged to consider a career in social care as the national social care recruitment drive arrives in the city on Thursday, 25 February 2010.

A social care recruitment event will be in Liverpool from Thursday 25 to Saturday, 27 February 2010, to provide information about a wide range of rewarding jobs in social care that are available in the area now.  The event will give advice on finding social care jobs in the area, along with details on training and career progression opportunities, and information about what working in social care involves. Local ambassadors who work in the sector will also be on hand to chat about their experiences.

Over 1.5 million people are employed across the adult social care sector in England, and as many as 200,000 jobs in the sector are expected to be advertised across the country in the coming year, based on existing trends.

The event coincides with new research which shows that more than 36% of people in Liverpool would consider a career in social care. However, 42% thought they lacked the right qualifications – in fact many of the roles available require no specific prior qualifications. The event will aim to address these misconceptions and raise awareness and understanding of the range of jobs within the sector, routes to entry and the possibility of on-the-job training.

Commenting on the event, Care Services Minister Phil Hope said:- “Social care is changing and more people are in need of support than ever before. It’s a really rewarding career with plenty of scope for training and progression, flexible working hours and the opportunity of further qualifications. I’d encourage anyone thinking about their career options to go along to the event and find out more.”

The recruitment event will be held in Liverpool on the following days:-  Thursday, 25 February 2010 to Saturday,  27 February 2010 at the St Johns Centre and will run as and when the St Johns Centre is open.  Or go to:- for further information.

Have a say over multi million pound fund

PEOPLE are being asked to influence the future of a massive pot of cash for voluntary and community groups in Liverpool.  The city council has one of the largest schemes of its type in the country, and allocates three-year grants to organisations to deliver projects for the benefit of local residents.  Currently, 79 organisations are given money - ranging from a drop-in centre for homeless people through to projects to help people who had suffered domestic violence and initiatives to help older people stay physically and mentally active.  The next funding round is from 2011-2014 and the council’s Community Resources Unit wants people to have their say on how it should be spent.

The responses will help guide how the money is invested across five areas:-

► Community Legal Advice

► Domestic Violence

► Homelessness

► Stronger Communities

► Strengthening Voluntary and Community Sector Organisations

Deputy Council Leader and executive member for finance, Councillor Flo Clucas, said:- “Every year we give out millions of pounds to voluntary and community groups to spend on projects which benefit local residents.  It is vital that people have a say over the way in which the money is used, and this consultation will help influence the process.  This is just the first stage and there will be a further opportunity for people to have a say when ideas have been developed.”

An online survey is available through the city council website at:-,  and is also available in alternative formats by emailing,  or by contacting the Community Resources Unit on:- 0151 233 4436.  The survey will be open until 18 March 2010.

Social workers praised following inspection

SOCIAL workers protecting the most vulnerable young people in Liverpool have been praised by government inspectors.  OFSTED who are the watchdog responsible for the safeguarding of young people carried out an unannounced inspection of Liverpool City Council last month as part of new rigorous monitoring arrangements for local authorities introduced in the wake of the national Baby Peter case.

3 inspectors spent 2 days looking at the quality and effectiveness of the Careline telephone help service and the way in which cases of alleged abuse and neglect are dealt with.  They have now issued a report which identifies a number of strengths, areas where the council is performing to national guidelines, and a small number of areas for development.

There is praise for:-

► The extra £1.7 million that the city council is investing in 31 new social workers – an increase of 20% – to reduce caseloads and enable staff to spend more time with children and families

► The support, advice and guidance provided to social workers by front line managers, and the easy access to training

► The out-of-hours service, which is described as “well organised” with “good communications links” between social workers and the Careline telephone help service

Councillor Keith Turner, executive member for education - which includes safeguarding of young people - said:- “It is a difficult and challenging task keeping our most vulnerable young people safe, and the findings of this inspection are a tribute to the hard work of our dedicated staff.

In common with other areas of the country, we have seen a large increase in the number of referrals following the Baby Peter case and that is why we have invested substantially in recruiting more social workers to deal with the most challenging cases.  We support and assist families with a range of complex issues, and that means there is no room for complacency, and are already tackling the areas for development which have been identified to make sure that everything possible is being done to protect our young people.”

The report found that all children referred to safeguarding were assessed quickly, staff had a satisfactory working knowledge of best practice and procedures and received regular supervision.  It also says that staff in Careline responded “effectively” to calls, that they carry out checks before making decisions and that the records they keep are accurate.

Stuart Smith, executive director for children and families, said:- “Every day, our front line staff are working in extremely challenging circumstances to make sure that our thousands of young people do not come to any harm.  The safeguarding of young people is under more scrutiny than ever, so I am pleased that the inspectors have recognised our good practice.  This report shows they are handling cases well and taking the right steps to assess a referral before making a decision.   I would like to take this opportunity to thank them, because the social work they are doing is the most difficult kind, and that is why we are recruiting more of them and investing in a well-staffed service.”

The areas for development include:-

► Improving the reliability of the computer system which records the details of care cases, and making sure that staff complete assessments on the system promptly

► Sharing casework documents with families and children in addition to discussing them

► Routinely including management decisions on case records to make sure there is a clear record

No “priority actions”, or areas where changes need to be made immediately, were identified during the inspection.

The report will contribute to OFSTED’s annual review of children’s services in which Liverpool is currently graded as ‘performing well’.  Around 1500 young people currently receive social care support from the city council.

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