A supported, happier workforce will revitalise quality of care, says Councillor
Social services are set to improve in Cardiff as a result of the merging of two social care training teams into one unit.
On 12 October, Cardiff council agreed to merge teams from Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan as part of the partnership and collaboration approach encouraged by the Welsh government to make services better.
The unit will offer courses and increased support to the whole social care workforce in the area.
A Guardian survey last year showed that 82% of social workers in Wales said they needed to pay more attention to their own well-being.
Sue Cooper, corporate director of social services and wellbeing at Bridgend county borough council, told the Guardian that the biggest issue for retaining staff is a lack of support.
“The biggest issue [for retaining staff] is the supervision they’ve had and the workload, the caseloads they have. That’s the key thing, I think, that will make a social worker feel stressed and that they want to leave,” she said.
Councillor Mary McGarry, a key figure in developing the plans, believes the new social care training unit will provide a more effective, skilled and happier workforce. She said: “It will have a huge affect on the people that need their care.”
As chair of the Community and Adult Services Audit Committee, McGarry admitted there has been a problem with recruitment and retention across the social care spectrum, but maintains the merged unit will be part of a “cure.”
She added: “The region has a highly diverse population, distinctively rural and intensively urban and it has an increasing need for social care. The needs of vulnerable people vary so much. That is why we need a really effective training unit.”
The unit is set to be operational by April 2018.