Falkirk pledges renewed focus to tackle vacancies in social work services

A refreshed staffing structure with new career development pathways hopes to retain and recruit experienced registered social workers and occupational therapists.

Falkirk’s social work services have agreed the roll out of new roles, enhanced salary scales, and improved career opportunities following consultation with trade unions and staff groups.

The restructure includes the creation of new Assistant Team Manager roles which will provide additional capacity to support newly qualified colleagues, as well as the introduction of ‘Advanced Practitioner’ positions for qualified social workers and occupational therapists – helping to retain and attract experienced staff to Falkirk.

Sara Lacey, Falkirk’s Chief Social Work Officer, explains the ethos behind the new approach: “We want our workforce to feel valued and able to be their best at work. This refresh will develop a sustainable workforce ready for the future, positioning Falkirk as an employer of choice for experienced social workers and occupational therapists.

“Our new structure responds to a range of local and national challenges – including pressures following the pandemic caused by high demand for services, the increased cost of living, and a competitive job market.”

Roles are already being advertised internally, allowing staff to progress their career within and across their existing teams. These new positions will also be advertised to a broad range of candidates from across Scotland, UK, and further afield.

📺 Watch: Message from Falkirk’s Chief Social Work Officer, Sara Lacey

📺 Watch: A team that cares – working in Falkirk’s social work services

Laura Dunabie, Team Manager in Children and Families Social Work Service, adds: “This is an exciting time to join our dedicated and passionate teams who are serving Falkirk’s local communities. Our refreshed structure is a welcome boost to existing and new colleagues.

“By building our capacity to manage complex cases, providing increased support to our most vulnerable people, we will create a workforce that meets future needs and enables newly qualified colleagues to learn and develop within a supportive environment.”

The Assistant Team Manager roles are open to applicants with relevant experience and awards at SCQF level 10 or 11, while progression to Advanced Practitioner is based upon professional standards and frameworks established by the British Association of Social Work, Scottish Social Services Council, and Royal College of Occupational Therapists.

For more information about the roles on offer in Falkirk, and to apply, visit www.myjobscotland.gov.uk/councils/falkirk-council/jobs