Posted: Sat 13th Apr 2024

Costly Agency Staff Numbers Falling in Powys Social Services, Councillors Told

news.wales / newyddion.cymru

THE number of costly agency staff being used by Social Services in Powys is falling, councillors have been told.
At a meeting of Powys County Council’s Health and Care scrutiny committee on Thursday, April 11 councillors were given an update on how the council is “growing its own” social workers and how this is helping staff recruitment and retention in the departments.
Senior manager for safeguarding and quality assurance for children’s services, Holly Gordon explained the process where the council supports people to follow social work qualification courses.
This includes degree and master’s degree courses and the council provides practical learning opportunities.
Dr Gordon said: “In terms of starter and leaver rates over ther last 12 months there has been a change in that we’re recruiting more people than leavers which is really positive.
“This is having an impact on our agency social work rates in children’s services – and a gradual reduction is happening.
“We are projecting that will continue based on our grow our own outcomes.”
The report showed that over a two year period the numbers of agency staff working for the council had fallen from 49 in March 2022, to 21 by this March.
Dr Gordon said that in 2021 children’s services had 15 student placements which had increased to 30 by 2024, with 25 of these being council employees.
Dr Gordon said: “This year we are expecting eight newly qualified social workers to come out of this programme for children’s (services) and five for adult’s (services).”
Committee vice-chairman and member of Independents for Powys group, Cllr Gareth E Jones asked for the difference in cost between agency and staff social workers.
“Just so we can get our head around that, ” said Cllr Jones.
Head of children’s social services, Sharon Powell said: “Roughly agency staff is double and more the salary of the permanent member of staff.
“But we can get you the specifics and do a cost analysis of the daily, weekly, monthly and yearly rates of agency staff, I can forward you that data.”
She added that less than 20 per cent of the staff are made up of agency workers.
Ms Powell added: “The trajectory is coming down all the time and this year with our cohort of eight that number will become lower.
But Ms Powell said that there will “always be a need” for agency staff because of work turnover.
Committee chairwoman, Conservative Cllr Amanda Jenner said: “Generally the data is looking really positive, and things seem to be moving in the right directions.”
The committee noted the report. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



Spotted something? Got a story? Email News@News.Wales



More from Powys Council

New windfarm planning application submitted near Glaslyn Nature Reserve

Powys Council

Fears Raised Over Potential £300 Million School Building Programme Cutbacks

Powys Council

Committee Chairman Requests Comparison of Powys Planning Performance

Powys Council

Rail Testing Facility in Powys Seeks Extension for Detailed Plans – £150 Million Scheme

Powys Council

Improvements Being Made to Planning Enforcement Investigations in Powys

Powys Council

Powys Animal Establishment Licence Fees Set to Rise Again, Council Predicts Loss

Powys Council

Latest from News.Wales

Public Consultation Launched for ‘No-Gas’ Housing Development Near Maesteg

Bridgend Council

Opponents of Proposed “Super-Estate” in Wrexham Call for Public Meeting

Wrexham Council

Disused Newport leisure centre deemed safe by council officials

Newport Council

Plans Revealed for Fourth Phase of Rhondda Fach Active Travel Route

Rhondda Council

Fear of Diluted Local Voice in Vale of Glamorgan Community Council Changes

Vale of Glamorgan Council

Smallest School in Rhondda Cynon Taf to Close Despite Strong Opposition

Rhondda Council