Recruiting in social care – an Introduction to Care

In June 2014, a group of organisations came together to pilot a partnership programme to address the challenges of recruiting social care staff in Fife. 

ARCARC Scotland co-ordinated a pilot programme and facilitated meetings between Alzheimer Scotland, Cornerstone, Crossroads Fife Central, Gowrie Care, Quarriers, Real Life Options, Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), Scottish Autism and Sense Scotland. Along with BRAG Enterprises, a local voluntary sector enterprise agency, they helped deliver a recruitment initiative with the aim of recruiting people to work in social care who:

  • may not have considered working in care
  • did not know what working in social care consisted of
  • could benefit from information about the routes into working in care.

The Introduction to Care programme aimed to:

  • allow participating organisations to work together to address the difficulty in recruiting staff
  • provide a high quality introductory programme that attracts the people with the right values into the care sector
  • provide a more cost-effective approach than the traditional recruitment methods
  • provide participants with an introduction to necessary core skills.

The four day pilot programme took place in Kirkcaldy in February 2015. At the time, several local providers had vacancies and the view was that if the pilot was successful then similar courses could be held in other areas of Scotland.

On the first day of the programme, we (the SSSC) held a session to describe our role and the need for registration. Participants were invited to try our interactive online quiz, A Question of Care, to test out their responses to various scenarios that might arise in a care setting, giving them an insight into their own values and attitudes.

The programme was highly valued by the participants as it gave them an in-depth insight into care and, although their attendance did not directly lead to employment with the participating organisations, it allowed them to make the next steps on the path to working in care. The steps taken by participants included employment with an organisation outside of the programme, doing voluntary work and enrolling in a care course at college.

This work is an example of one of the recommendations in the recent publication Social Services in Scotland : A Shared Vision and Strategy 2015-2020 which calls for action to ‘review current guidance and approaches to recruitment of social services workers, particularly to more strongly incorporate values-based recruitment approaches’.

You can find out more about the pilot programme in ARC Scotland’s report.

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