Authorities across the South West are supporting a campaign launched this week that raises the profile of care and the positive role of care workers in a drive to recruit the right people to the sector.
Care providers across the country often experience difficulties in recruiting, which in turn affects the availability of care to people who could be living independently at home, or in care homes.
It's a challenge that local authorities want to address by making people aware of how rewarding and worthwhile care work is as career choice, and encouraging the positive image that care deserves.
16 local authorities across the South West, and Health Education England, are supporting the campaign (see note to editors), establishing for the first time a regional approach to raising the profile of care.
Care providers in Devon have seen marked improvements in their ability to recruit high calibre applicants to caring roles. 'Recruitment has gone through the roof,’ says one Registered Manager at a Devon care home.
An especially inspiring element to the campaign is the first-hand personal accounts from real care and support workers, who talk passionately about their love for care work.
The campaign website www.proudtocaresw.org.uk features interviews with care and support workers, and links to recruitment portals where care providers across the region advertise their vacancies.
The campaign wants to reach all potential care workers, but is specifically targeting key audiences including younger people and those who have studied for a health and social care qualification; parents considering a return to work; people aged 50 plus who, with more life experience might want to give something back to their community; and students seeking employment over holiday periods.
It's also gained national support from the Association of Directors of Adult Social Care, Skills for Care and Skills for Health.
The Council of the Isles of Scilly’s Senior Officer for Adult Social Care, Gareth Peters, said:
‘Care and support workers are a valued and essential part of our island workforce. Through their hard work and dedication, they support many people to continue to live at home and at Park House. The Council of the Isles of Scilly is committed partner of Proud to care South West and we want everyone to know that working in care is a great job with real prospects.’