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Last Updated: Friday, 22 February 2008, 20:33 GMT
Social workers recruited from US
Council staff are heading to the US to recruit social workers because of a "severe national shortage".

Herefordshire Council said two social work managers and a personnel manager were flying to Atlanta, Georgia, to interview 16 candidates over five days.

The council's Shaun McLurg said it was "more cost effective" than employing agency staff, who each cost 20,000 a year more than council social workers.

He said like other authorities, it had struggled to recruit social workers.

This was despite extensive local and national advertising campaigns, the council said.

Mr McLurg, head of safeguarding and assessment, said: "Many other local authorities have resorted to recruiting social workers from Australia, Canada and the USA."

He added that "every available option" had to be pursued to ensure there were sufficient qualified staff to safeguard vulnerable children.

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