Jersey has struggled to recruit social workers and nurses in the past, with the Health Department often having to turn to agency staff to fill vacancies.
During a recent Scrutiny hearing Senator Paul Routier said that an exemption to the housing restrictions for nurses,
midwives and social workers had been granted.
While people filling these posts were previously exempt from the provisions in the law, their partners and children were still subject to the ordinary controls on housing and working rights.
Senator Routier said: ‘If they have spouses or children with them the Control of Housing and Work Law was not making it easy for them to get into work.
‘I signed an order that exempted nurses, midwives and social workers from the law to give assurances to people coming to the Island.’
Earlier in the hearing, which was reviewing the progress made on implementing the eight core recommendations of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry, Susan Devlin, managing director of community and social services, said that attract social workers to Jersey posed a problem for the Island’s Children’s Services.
Responding to a question from Senator Sarah Ferguson, Mrs Devlin said: ‘It [the recruitment of social workers] remains a challenge. We are fishing in a relatively small pond and it is difficult for everyone in the UK.
‘The added issue we have is people have to relocate. We still have a significant number of posts that are covered by agency staff but we have a number of recruitment selection processes that have generated newly appointed staff in the last two months.’
It was also revealed during the hearing that the recruitment process to find a new children’s rights officer should begin next month. The role, which was a recommendation of the inquiry, is already in place in the UK and is designed to ensure that children and young people with experience of the care system are able to have their voices heard and to ensure appropriate responses to concerns children may raise.
The Children in Care Scrutiny Panel comprises Deputies Sam Mézec, Tracey Vallois and Mike Higgins as well as Senator Ferguson.