Children's services staff 'don't feel valued' at Northamptonshire County Council

The exit interviews for children's service workers identified some key issues
The exit interviews for children's service workers identified some key issues

Staff working in children's services told Northamptonshire County Council that they 'didn't feel valued', and there's a 'real risk' that more will soon leave.

The feedback was a recurring theme during exit interviews with departing staff, which were conducted by the authority's HR department.

The interviews, between September and December last year, may not be representative of the whole workbase, but key issues raised also included 'a perception of poor management', exacerbated by 'managers with little experience'.

Staff also passed on that they were left with 'unmanageably high' caseloads, but 71 per cent were however satisfied with pay and the benefits package that was offered.

In its 'stabilisation plan' published yesterday, which aims to make further savings at the council, the authority says that 'action taken to retain staff should include measures to improve the supervision and management of workers'.

The council admits there is a 'real risk of further experienced staff leaving' after concerns were expressed in recent conversations that terms and conditions remain the same and almost all staff have had no pay rise over recent years.

The council still has 360 unallocated and unassessed cases – which equates to a workload for 18 experienced social workers. It means a further decrease in the numbers of staff will lead to 'further operational risk and more unassessed children’s cases'.