Americans heading for Suffolk

SUFFOLK will soon be welcoming a new intake of social workers from New York in an attempt to combat the county's shortage, it was confirmed today.The 13 new recruits are the result of an international search launched by Suffolk County Council and are due to begin work in the county in March.

SUFFOLK will soon be welcoming a new intake of social workers from New York in an attempt to combat the county's shortage, it was confirmed today.

The 13 new recruits are the result of an international search launched by Suffolk County Council and are due to begin work in the county in March.

Chris Lane, spokesman for the council's social services department, said: "Suffolk County Council is in a better position than most councils, having relatively few vacancies for qualified social workers.

"The council advertises locally and nationally for social workers, but there is a limited pool of qualified staff in the UK, and the market is competitive.


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"It was suggested we look at New York because there are people there with a wide range of experience and different skills."

The new recruits will be working in children's services - the area where there is the greatest need within Suffolk.

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All of them will have a masters degree, and a minimum of two years experience, and will be committed to working in Suffolk for three years.

They will spend several weeks acclimatising and learning the relevant aspects of English law before beginning work in the community.

Six are likely to work in Ipswich, five in the Waveney area, and two in the west of the county.

Once the American recruits take up their posts it will leave four vacant social worker positions in the county.

In June last year there were 37.

It is not the first time the council have recruited social workers from abroad. In 2002 they successfully recruited 30 workers from Zimbabwe and Romania.

Mr Lane said recruitment within this country still continues and highlighted the success of the council's in-house training centre in Kerrison, near Eye, which trains people who are already in other social care jobs to become social workers.

For more information on working in social care in Suffolk contact Christian Lloyd at Suffolk County Council on 01473 584190 or e-mail christian.lloyd@pers.suffolkcc.gov.uk

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