Rotherham Council’s new staff appeal in wake of child sexual exploitation report

Rotherham Council's social care team.
Rotherham Council's social care team.

Rotherham Council is looking for new social care staff as part of a reorganisation in the wake of the Jay report into child sexual exploitation.

The authority has recently transformed its social services department, including lower caseloads, improved management, more learning and development opportunities and more locality based social work teams.

This comes after the department was criticised in a report by Professor Alexis Jay OBE that revealed at least 1400 children were subjected to sexual exploitation in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013. The department changes have resulted in the need to recruit more staff and potential applicants are invited to attend a job fayre at its Riverside House headquarters on Saturday, October 8, from 10am.

Councillor Gordon Watson, deputy leader and cabinet member for children and young people’s services, said: “Rotherham Council has already undergone major changes in the last 18 months following the Jay and Casey reports, and we have many more ambitious plans to come. The perception about Rotherham is now very different to the reality.

“One of the criticisms was our social workers had far too high caseloads and were not able to deliver their jobs properly as a result. We have changed this significantly. Now we have some of the smallest caseloads in the country. We really want social workers to come and be part of the change here.”

The council held its first ever job fair for social care staff at the New York Stadium in Rotherham town centre in July and a number of vacancies were filled, but more social workers and team mangers are still needed.

Ian Thomas, strategic director of children’s and young people’s services, said: “We want to take the opportunity to share the journey we are on from being classified as inadequate to starting to be recognised as leaders of emerging best practice, particularly in child sexual exploitation. There is still much rewarding work to be done and we are looking for passionate, committed experienced social workers and team managers to join us.”