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21 March 2024

Best practice in international recruitment in social care

Kalpa Kharicha reported on the Visa Study as part of Social Work Week

Passport with visa stamps

As part of Social Work England’s Social Work Week, a webinar on Best practice in international recruitment in social care showcased perspectives from research, practice, training and recruitment on 20 March 2024. International recruitment remains on the policy agenda and media interest and the webinar attracted over 40 people from local authorities, researchers, as well as people from other countries who may be interested in working in the UK.

The session started with an update from Carol Stewart (Chinara Enterprises) on UK policy on international recruitment to adult social care, including changes from April 2024, which mean new Health and Care visa applicants cannot bring dependants (partners and children) with them, changes to salary thresholds and the Immigration Salary List replacing the Shortage Occupation List.

Laurence Lennon and Dan Halls from Frontier Consulting outlined ‘what good looks like’ in international recruitment of social workers and how to manage the complexity of the process for benefit to both employers and international recruits.

Carol Stewart went on to describe the learning and development support needed for practitioners, in particular the preparation needed by managers to support workers including the consideration of cultural factors and transferable skills.

Loretta Rogers Assistant Director Adult Operations, West Sussex County Council gave a case study example of their recruitment of social workers and occupational therapists in West Sussex, and co-presented with an internationally recruited social worker from south Africa who gave her experience of starting work and settling in the UK.

Kalpa Kharicha from HSCWRU, KCL gave an update on the latest Home Office data on the number of Health and Care Visas issued to main applicant care workers and dependants. She presented an overview of research in the Unit on international recruitment of care workers since the changes to the Health and Care visa in February 2022, focusing on findings from the Visa study, a spotlight on the findings related to the experiences of internationally recruited care workers and dependants, and an outline of the current evaluation of the International Recruitment Fund 2023-24, due to report early summer 2024.

Thanks to Carol Stewart for organising and co-presenters for their insights.

In this story

Kalpa Kharicha

Senior Research Fellow