Birmingham & Black Country

Walsall Council searches for social workers after service 'failings'

Walsall Council has started a recruitment drive to hire more social workers after the service was heavily criticised by Ofsted.

The watchdog rated the service inadequate in July and said vulnerable children in the area were being put at risk because of failings.

Inspectors highlighted the local authority's use of too many temporary agency staff.

The council is hosting a meeting to attract permanent social workers.

'Right journey'

Councillor Rachel Andrew, in charge of children's services, said the local authority hoped to find good quality, experienced staff.

She said: "This is about getting them to Walsall, getting them to see what social work is like here, hearing our story and hearing that we are on the right journey towards improvement."

During a visit in June, Ofsted inspectors found Walsall had struggled to retain its most experienced social workers for a number of years.

They said high-risk situations were sometimes being incorrectly identified as low risk, while performance management was also poor.

The report, which led to the suspension of three senior members of staff, also said problems identified in 2010 had yet to be addressed.

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