SOCIAL CARE MOBILITY CHANGESOME THING BECOMING DIFFERENT THAN WHAT IT WAS.
EPITOMIE OF CHANGE AN EXAMPLE OF ONE CHANGE:LARGE NUMBERS OF WOMEN INCENTIVISED TO RETURN TO THE WORKFORCE. RESULTED IN / CONTRIBUTED TO:RAISING CHILDREN THROUGH CRECHE PROCESS:DIFFICULTY IN RECRUITING AND RETAINING FOSTER CARERS, ESP IN COUNTRIES WHERE FOSTER CARE WORKING DOES NOT RECEIVE A WAGE.
SOCIAL CARE MOBILITYFAMILIAR RECRUITMENT PROCESS / RELATIONSHIP SERVICE PROVIDER / EMPLOYER SOCIAL CARE PRACTITIONER
SOCIAL CARE MOBILITYSOCIAL CARE PRACTICEAND DEVELOPING EMPLOYMENT STRATEGIES OF THE GLOBAL RECESSION
SOCIAL CARE MOBILITY AGENCY RECRUITMENT PROCESSSERVICE PROVIDER AGENCY (EMPLOYER) SOCIAL CARE PRACTITIONER
SOCIAL CARE MOBILITYThe latest research on private employment agencies was published in 2011 by Eurociett (European Confederation of Private Employment Agencies).Adapting to Change: How private employment services facilitate adaptation to change, better labour markets and decent work.
SOCIAL CARE MOBILITY WHY DO WE NEED TO CHANGE RECRUITMENT PROCESSES?Economic cycles are becoming more volatile, resulting in a constant tension between job creation and job destruction.In the complex reality of employment markets, the role of labour market intermediaries is crucial.
SOCIAL CARE MOBILITYPrivate employment services enable labour markets to adapt when economies are facing changes.The private employment sector provides effective workforce solutions that enable employers to seize opportunities and manage fluctuations effectively.
SOCIAL CARE MOBILITYThis report highlights research suggesting that organisations which strategically combine internal flexibility with the use of agency work to address fluctuations in demand appear to be best placed to manage increasing volatility and react to market opportunities.
STATISTICS FROM THE REPORTWhen asked about the main reason workers decided to work through private employment agencies, 60% of agency workers in France answered “to find a job quickly”.The majority of agency workers from the UK (66%), Poland (60%), Netherlands (58%) and Belgium (52%) agree with the statement “agency work helps in having a balanced life”.
SOCIAL CARE MOBILITYHow will private agency employment style of recruitment suit social care style practice? Economic considerations reinforce changes – however do these changes support staff, clients, work environments, practice standards in social care?
SOCIAL CARE MOBILITYIn an attempt to get a sense of how this process may be going and pilot a discussion, I interviewed a representative from each of the points of the employment relationship:A manager from an employment agency. A manager of a service using agency. A practitioner working through agency.
Social Care MobilityPRIVATE AGENCY PERSPECTIVE
SOCIAL CARE & PRIVATE AGENCY THE PRIVATE AGENCY Types of work on Agency books:Access workMainstream and high support ResidentialResidential with Intellectual disability (ID)Respite ServicesHomelessness ServicesRefugee Services
SOCIAL CARE & PRIVATE AGENCYHowever the agency identified that currently 90% of the work offered is based in Residential services in main stream and intellectual disability (ID).
SOCIAL CARE & PRIVATE AGENCY DEMOGRAPHIC OF PRACTITIONERS The agency identified that the biggest range of applicants are the graduates on completion of a level seven or eight degree in social care. However the agency also have all ages and levels of experience on their books.
SOCIAL CARE & PRIVATE AGENCY IDEAL AGENCY WORKER FROM AGENCY PERSPECTIVE.Strongly Flexible – willingness to work with in a variety of settings Strongly Available – short notice availability Driving licence – willingness to travel Had developed a CV Practitioner as a recent graduate have done at least one of their college placements in residential care / ID
SOCIAL CARE & PRIVATE AGENCY AGENCY PATHWAY OF WORK Initially work patterns can be quiet varied, however if a practitioner demonstrates good work in a service some block booking can develop. Such practitioners get more regular work. Out side this experience practitioners must remain mobile and it is always the practitioners decision to stay with the agency.
SOCIAL CARE & PRIVATE AGENCY AGENCY PATHWAY PROGRAMME Where possible graduates are started off with a gradual introduction to degrees of challenge in work environments, e.g. access work, to main stream residential, to high support residential etc. However, in the demand lead market this is not always possible.
SOCIAL CARE & PRIVATE AGENCY PRACTITIONER SUPPORTS AND AGENCY This was a policy area in the agency that was much less clearly defined. It is expected that practitioners join the working model of support processes available in the units they are currently working. There is some supervision available from the agency – however the agency has some difficulty getting engagement from staff… (so supervision is not compulsory).
SOCIAL CARE & PRIVATE AGENCY PRACTITIONERS SUPPORT AND AGENCY If the issue of practitioner injury, (while working), occurs this is handled on a ‘case by case’ basis. However when explored this support provision for practitioners from the agency was also very unclear.
SOCIAL CARE & PRIVATE AGENCY SOME ADVANTAGES OF AGENCY It will be easier for services to remove weak or underperforming practitioners. It makes it easier for services to increase and decrease the size of it’s workforce as client numbers fluctuate. This will allow services have better control of their costs and have greater flexibility.
SOCIAL CARE & PRIVATE AGENCY Practitioners coming from agencies can not be sent to services until they have the most up to date training done, for example – TCI, Children’s First and lifting and handling. They therefore may be more up to date in training than the primary team. As practitioners have to pay for their own training in these it attracts the most committed practitioners – those who really want to work social care.
SOCIAL CARE & PRIVATE AGENCY Graduates can get work quickly. All practitioners are qualified.
SOCIAL CARE & PRIVATE AGENCY AGENCY STRUCTURES The private agency is a company and as such have a Board, a CEO, Directors, Line Managers & share holders. The agency is not a regulated process, however, it has a recruitment licence from the National Recruitment Federation.
SOCIAL CARE & PRIVATE AGENCY THE PRACTITIONER PRSPECTIVE The practitioner interviewed was a recent graduate who is working in agency work for eight / nine months. In that period she has worked in about 10 different client bases – all of which were residential.
SOCIAL CARE & PRIVATE AGENCY She has enjoyed the residential sector and attempts have been made to block time some of her work in specific units. She is in constant communication with the agency to let them know her availability and that she is still around. She said she used agency to ‘get her foot in the door of practice’, however it does not have full reliability.
SOCIAL CARE & PRIVATE AGENCY If it gets busy she was ‘over worked’ in terms of the number of hours that she got to do. Conversely when it goes quiet there is a sense of and a fear of being ‘dumped’. This experience has helped her manage money better.
SOCIAL CARE & PRIVATE AGENCY CHALLENGES MENTIOED BY PRACTITIONER The waiting for a call is difficult. Can’t plan – even going out can be difficult in case you are called. Some times the attitude of the primary team to agency staff is negative. While you gain experience, because of mobility the work remains very basic – difficult to build relationships, do in depth work (e.g. key working), get positions of increased professional responsibility (staying the float).
SOCIAL CARE & PRIVATE AGENCY Clients tend to see you as less powerful and significant as established staff (almost like a student again). You have to be very strong not to be dismissed or disempowered by the clients. The practitioner was concerned also that workers coming in and out of services, especially in residential sector, was not very client centred practice.
Social Care MobilitySERVICE PROVIDER PERSPECTIVE
SOCIAL CARE & PRIVATE AGENCY SERVICE PERSPECTIVE Profile of the service: Residential service with units dedicated to the care of adult clients with ID and related challenges. Has 40 permanent staff and contracts about 10 agency workers. Uses both social care & nursing agency staff.
SOCIAL CARE & PRIVATE AGENCY Service receives a collection of CV’s to review, filtered by the agency when seeking workers. This service does show interest in the gender of candidates also. They do make attempts to establish core groups, some of which get 30 hours a week regularly.
SOCIAL CARE & PRIVATE AGENCY The roster is done weekly so the agency workers can know hours a week in advance. It was noted that the agency workers also worked in other agencies. On selection the worker is give an induction talk and about one weeks work trial. If the candidate can show ability in that time frame they will be sought again.
SOCIAL CARE & PRIVATE AGENCY If not the service informs the agency not to send that worker back. Comparatively, in direct employment between a practitioner and service - probation periods of up to a year are given to a worker. The implications to graduates is that they now have no time to ‘learn on the job’ - Limited development process time.
SOCIAL CARE & PRIVATE AGENCY SOME PRO’S FOR THE SERVICE The flexibility to drop and take on staff as needed was the primary one mentioned. SOME CON’S FOR THE SERVICE The agency staff can be functional and not have an investment made in the service.
SOCIAL CARE & PRIVATE AGENCY When there is weaker investment from staff to the service, rapport can be affected with clients some times. The permanent staff are some times not as open / are resistant to agency staff. Sometimes services users play permanent and agency staff off against each other.
SOCIAL CARE & PRIVATE AGENCY The familiar relationship of taking on staff and investing in their development and skills has changed. So the agency and not the service is left to monitor staff development. When issues such as clients getting an injury involving agency staff were explored with the service manager, he was no longer sure who had what responsibility to the agency staff.
SOCIAL CARE & PRIVATE AGENCY Are the values and standards of social care supported using this recruitment process? Private Agency recruitment is a business model; social care is a collection of actions and beliefs aimed at supporting the vulnerable.
SOCIAL CARE & PRIVATE AGENCY SOME VALUES OF SOCIAL CARE Relationship building Consistency / good team working Confidentiality Developing environments as close as possible to what is the normal experience of people
SOCIAL CARE & PRIVATE AGENCY SUMMARY CONSIDERATIONS: Significant policies around support processes for agency staff are currently very unclear. Staff in this regard may be left very vulnerable in certain circumstances, especially considering realities in social care work environments.
SUMMARY CONSIDERATIONS Agency working offers a flexible work force, however the developmental progress of practitioners need supportive attention, in conjunction with conforming to the various training programmes required – such as TCI etc. This responsibility has shifted from the service to agency for those practitioners in agency employment.
SUMMARY CONSIDERATIONS With due regard to the private agency purpose in the employment market – there is a real danger that agency staff may become isolated from any consistent practice mentoring after their initial training is complete.
SUMMARY CONSIDERATIONS Agency practitioners have no probationary period of any note and are rated on performance rather than potential. This highlights the difference between providing staff and developing / growing staff.
SUMMARY CONSIDERATIONSMixing agency and permanent staff in staff teams may raise challenges around consistency and co –operative team working. These need to be acknowledged and supported.
THE RELATIONSHP DYNAMICS There seems to be disparity in the commitment levels required by practitioners to agency compared with agency to practitioners.
THE RELATIONSHIP DYNAMIC For example: Practitioners must pay for their own trainings; be available at very short notice; wait on call; be willing to travel etc. The agency and service contractors can drop the practitioner at any time and there is a lack of clarity around responsibility towards practitioners in certain circumstances.
THE RELATIONSHIP DYNAMIC Another Example: The benefit of flexibility for the service provider has merit, however flexibility from the practitioner perspective means I can be dropped at any time.
ADAPTATION All participants engaged within the social care practice field may adapt:Considerations for practice, practitioners, standards of good practice, and clients is arguably needed.
SOCIAL CARE & PRIVATE AGENCY There are implications: For social care educators in how we prepare graduates for new work realities. For services to support team integration and clarify new boundaries of responsibilities to the agency members of the team. For private agency to generate supportive models for practitioners and a strong mentoring programme for continuous development.
SOCIAL CARE & PRIVATE AGENCY To support practitioners on how to develop a career pathway while in the employment of private agency. To support practitioners with the harsher realities of agency models of employment and demand lead market conditions – especially when demand is very high and very low.
SOCIAL CARE & PRIVATE AGENCY WHILE AGENCY REPRESENTS A CHANGE TO INRECRUITMENT PROCESSES DUE TO NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC REALITIES – WHAT ARE THE ADAPTATIONS SOCIAL CARE / SOCIAL CARE PRACTICE MAY BE MAKING TO ACCOMMODATE THE ‘ECONOMIC REALITY’? AND WILL THEY BE POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE IN THEIR OVER ALL OUTCOME?