Birmingham's cash-strapped council has increased pay rates for temporary social workers by 68 per cent.
The huge rise means the authority will pay agency staff with at least two years’ experience £41.23-an-hour, up from the previous £24.54.
The council introduced the new rate for a six-month period in a bid to help solve its chronic staff shortage problems.
It currently has 108 vacancies for full-time, qualified social workers in its crisis-struck children’s services department.
But agency staff are only covering 66 of the vacancies, leaving a shortfall of 42.
The department has been rated as inadequate since 2009 and was branded a “national disgrace” by the Government’s chief inspector of schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw, earlier this month.
But the council has also lost social workers to neighbouring authorities which pay higher salaries.
Last month, it was claimed neighbouring Sandwell was offering staff £40-plus an hour – on top of “golden hellos” of up to £10,000.
Cabinet member for children’s services Coun Brigid Jones (Lab, Selly Oak) said: “The situation with children’s safeguarding remains serious and a root problem is we don’t have enough staff.
“We are stuck in a cycle of higher workloads, leading to more stress and sickness. Our reputation nationally has not helped.”
Coun Jones said Government children’s minister Edward Timpson had told the council to fill its vacancies quickly.
“We pay well below the going rate for the very hard work social workers are doing,” she said.
Failings by social workers and other child protection staff have been highlighted in a series of serious case reviews into the death of children including Keanu Williams and Khyra Ishaq.
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