A new feasibility study commissioned by the CareTech Foundation has shown an “overwhelmingly positive” response from across the social care sector to a disruptive new programme, ‘Now Care’, to address the recruitment and retention crisis in social care, the need to attract high‐calibre talent to the sector and, significantly, address leadership skills to instil long‐term change from within.
The feasibility study, commissioned from Transform Society and produced in association with the University of Edinburgh, provides a powerful case for the proposed new scheme.
Per the report:
“The study has demonstrated both the demand for such a new scheme and the appetite of the sector to support its development. There is real excitement that this proposition can make a signal impact on the social care sector. We have heard a very clear message from the very many people with whom we have engaged that this is a proposal that the social care sector needs.”
Professor David Grayson CBE, who was Chair of the Advisory Group assembled to support the feasibility study, said:
“This is an exciting and powerful opportunity to bring together supply and demand for talent in a new and innovative way, embracing technology, leadership training and mentored future leaders to make much needed changes to the social care system”
’Now Care’ will follow a similar approach of previously successful Transform Society alliance members schemes such as ’Teach First’ and ’Police Now’, which appear in the Top 40 of the Top 100 Graduate Employers, recruit over 3,000 graduates a year and have become a magnet to the UK’s top graduates due to their focus on training, development and support.
Dame Julia Cleverdon DCVO CBE, Vice Patron Teach First said:
“ My experience working in persuading graduates to come to Teach First when I chaired the charity and now seeing other alliance members involved in other areas of public service is that you can successfully change a generation’s view of front facing public sector leaders in professions never previously considered by top talent in the past.”
In the light of the positive outcome of the study, the trustees of the CareTech Foundation have agreed to incubate the scheme’s development from within the charity and have committed in principle funding for three years, working to secure the support required to enable ’Now Care’ to recruit its first cohort of new leaders in 2022.
“The recruitment and retention crisis in the sector requires bold thinking to address properly. Increasing funding to support the recruitment of front-line care workers without also addressing structural issues in the sector that feed huge staff turnover is unsustainable. ‘Now Care’ has the potential to transform leadership across the social care sector and we will now look to build a coalition of supporters to establish this exciting new scheme as soon as possible.”
Reports from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and research by The King’s Fund make clear that quality mentored training and a supported career path is not only attractive to individuals but is beneficial to the place of work, the sector and to society.
Many such reports highlight leadership training as a key ingredient of workforce development, supporting the need for the ‘Now Care’ scheme. The feasibility report considers that ’Now Care’ has the potential to make a significant contribution both directly and indirectly by signalling that the sector itself is innovating and improving.