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Children’s workers surveyed over performance health

By Joe Sweeney | Wolverhampton | Health | Published:

Following the success of a survey designed to ensure the health and happiness of Wolverhampton social workers in undertaking their daily caseloads, city leaders have now pushed the same checks out to the wider children’s workforce.

Wolverhampton Civic Centre in St Peter\'s Square. Photo: Google Street View

The online survey was sent out to 301 council employees, including educational psychologists, family support workers, the virtual school team and strengthening families workers, between April and May this year.

A total of 173 workers responded – 57 per cent – from across all of the different service areas.

In a report to members of the Children, Young People and Families Scrutiny Panel this week, the council’s advanced practitioner for quality and improvement, Jennifer Rogers, said: “Nearly 85 per cent of staff felt that their workload is manageable and the majority never, rarely or occasionally said they experienced stress.

“Sickness due to stress at work was also not particularly high. And most people were not carrying over annual leave because of any demands from the job.

“The average number of people these departments support in terms of caseloads varies because of the variety of job roles we have.

“As this is the first survey carried out on our non-social work qualified workforce, this will provide a benchmark for monitoring future trends as it is not possible to draw comparisons between the different service areas,” she added.

“There were a number of staff members who said that they work over their contracted hours to keep up with their workload. The number of average hours worked by full-time employees was 38.9 hours a week.

“However, some part-time employees averaged 6.9 hours over their contracted hours, with just over 12 per cent of part time employees putting in between 38-42 hours – which is high.”

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A spokesman for Wolverhampton City Council said: “Good practice carried out by a ‘healthy’ and motivated workforce can lead to improved outcomes for people and families as well as reduced demand and costs.

“The five key topics we concentrate on in carrying out these assessments are effective workload management; pro-active workflow management; having the right tools for the job; a healthy workplace and effective service delivery.”

When asked what they would change about their job if they could, the most common responses from workers included having more time for direct one-to-one work, less paperwork and fewer systems.

Joe Sweeney

By Joe Sweeney
@JoeSweeneyLDR

Local Democracy Reporter covering Wolverhampton.

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