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Social workers asked to come back to save and protect lives

Dudley Council bosses are getting behind a regional campaign that’s encouraging people to return to the caring profession.

People with skills and experience in adult social care are urgently needed due to the coronavirus crisis and it is hoped the #ComeBackToCare campaign will help to recruit posts in Dudley borough.

The West Midlands wide initiative is particularly appealing to those who have left the care sector, but remain registered, to come back. Retired staff are also being asked to re-register and return.

It is thought that one in five workers, who support older and vulnerable adults across the region, could be away from work at any one time because they are sick or self-isolating.

The campaign, which has been created by the improvement body West Midlands Employers (WME) and the regional branch of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (WMADASS), is thought to be one of the first in the sector. It reflects similar return-to-work campaigns for doctors, nurses and volunteers in the NHS.

It has been endorsed by all 14 councils in the West Midlands region. The authorities are responsible for providing advice, support and direct care to adults with disabilities and older people with physical or mental health needs. Sadly, many have been affected by the lockdown or illness.

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for adult social care, said:

"We are calling on people in Dudley borough who have the amazing and special skills that we need to #ComeBackToCare in these unprecedented times.

"Now more than ever before, people from across the region are recognising the selfless contribution that our adult social care workers make to our society and this is the chance for those who have left to make a difference once again.

"I want to add my personal thanks to everyone in the care sector and I hope people across the borough will continue join me every Thursday at 8pm to #ClapForCarers."

People can find out more at Potential returners with the right experience and qualifications can apply through the site to come back to work as a full employee or as a volunteer and will be fast tracked into work.

Through the website, it is expected that the 14 local authorities will be able to match with a pool of candidates and get people back on the front line within days.

Andy Begley, chair of ADASS in the West Midlands, said:

"In these extraordinary circumstances the system of care and support for adults in our region is under severe strain.

"Things can only get worse as the outbreak reaches its peak and people start to be sent home to recover after treatment in hospital and need our help even more."

Councils have worked together to fast-track the approach to recruiting, reflecting the urgency of the current situation.

Rebecca Davis Chief Executive of West Midlands Employers, added:  

"In a matter of days our 14 councils working with West Midlands Employers have put together a self-help scheme backed by simple but powerful technology. It’s a tribute to how local government is innovating at the speed of light to deal with this crisis.

"There is an army out there of good, experienced and skilled people who we are asking to do their bit and come back to work, to save and protect the lives of their neighbours and friends."

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