Survey shows majority of County Council’s children’s services staff feel supported in their roles
A Nottinghamshire County Council survey has found that the majority of frontline staff working in children’s services, including social workers, feel supported by their managers, with 80 per cent finding their role rewarding among those who took part in the survey.
The annual survey – known as the Children’s Workforce Health Check – is a comprehensive look at current issues, experiences and concerns faced by social care, family service, youth and education workers and early years teams. It is a chance to identify even more ways workers can be supported to help keep children across Nottinghamshire safer.
Key findings, which were discussed and debated at a recent Children and Young People’s Services committee include:
• 98% of staff felt that their manager was accessible when they needed them
• 93% of staff felt listened to and supported by their managers
• 98% of staff said that they received regular supervision with 66% rating it as very good/excellent
• Staff retention shows 65% of the current workforce have been in post for over five years, and 81% being in the role for more than two years
• 80% of staff said that their job was rewarding
Councillor Tracey Taylor, Vice-Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Children and Young People’s committee said,
“These are encouraging findings as those operating at the frontline, dealing directly with children, young people, and families face a number of challenges and pressures every day.
“ It is essential that as an employer, we have an accurate understanding of how it feels to be involved in such work – and what we can do to improve things.
“This feedback indicates that most staff feel they are being supported by their managers with two thirds of staff rating their supervision as very good or better.
“However, we know there are a few issues which we need to address such as levels of sickness absence related to stress. In turn we are continually committed to making sure workloads are at manageable levels
“ Staff safety is a priority and we want our social workers to feel safe as they go about their vital work.
“ We were also struck by the lack of ethnic diversity among our team manager positions so one of the action points from this is to review our recruitment activity to see how this can be improved.”
Main actions include:
• Ensuring that there’s a more consistent approach to staff safety across frontline teams so that staff feel safer and more confident. New smart phones for the frontline workforce with a personal safety App are due to be introduced this month.
• Reviewing recent recruitment activity for team manager role to see what can be done to encourage higher representation from BEM (black, ethnic or minority) backgrounds within management structures.
• Continuing to monitor and address staff sickness levels, especially when related to stress/depression, and ensuring staff are aware of the current support in place, which includes a counselling service, workplace chaplaincy service, office-based staff support groups, workplace health champions and mental health first aiders.
The Health Check survey was completed by 287 staff from a frontline workforce of approximately 1,070 and saw a 5% increase in participation, when compared to last year’s survey.