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FAQ Home

GENERAL ENQUIRIES


How do I sign up?


Registering with Sanctuary Personnel is easy. Simply download and print the application form or call us on 0333 7000 022 to have a copy posted to you.

Send your completed application, along with the required documentation, to:

Sanctuary Personnel Ltd, 15 Friars Street, Ipswich, IP1 1TD.

What makes a good CV?


Your CV is usually the first way you introduce yourself to an employer so it is important to use it to make a good impression. It needs to be clear, easy to read and relevant to the job you are applying for.

We have created a guide to what we find makes a good CV. Click here to read more.

What documents do I need to be considered for jobs?


When you become a candidate with Sanctuary, we will ask you to complete a full compliance check list and ask for a series of documents including:
  • Your original social work qualification 
  • Your original social work registration certificate – an online check of current registration will also be made. In addition, we will carry out weekly checks on your registrations status – the industry standard is every four weeks
  • Scanned copies of your passport and any relevant visa documents
  • Professional references are obtained at the time of appointment from last 5 years employment

These documents will be scanned and attached to your candidate file for future reference.

To ensure that we take a full employment history from all our candidates. We will ask you for more details and references if you have any gaps in your employment lasting more than a month.

We will also make Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks. Click here to read full information on our compliance and safeguarding checks.

SOCIAL WORK EXPERIENCE


Do you take on newly qualified workers?


It is difficult for newly qualified social workers to become locums straight away due to the extra support that they require. This is not something that would normally be provided to temporary or contract staff.

Generally, you need at least 12-18 months’ local authority experience as a social worker after completing any period of protected workload and support, such as the ASYE. Click here for more advice on developing your career as a NQSW.

How much experience do I need in order to become a locum?


Generally you would need 12-18 months’ local authority experience as a social worker after completing any period of protected workload and support as a newly qualified social worker.

Every manager is different, but very few will consider newly qualified social workers for locum. In addition most will be looking for professionals with local authority experience in oppose to experience working for a charity or other body.

I have just retired and/or I’m 60+ years old – will this go against me?


If you have recently retired, there should be no problem moving straight on to locum work because your training and professional registration will be up-to-date.

For those who retired a while ago and want to get in to locum work, you will need to make sure that you are up-to-date with current legislation and some training may be required but we can help you with our Sanctuary Training division. You will also need to ensure that you are still a registered social worker with the correct regulator.

Age is not a barrier to locum work; we have placed social workers in their 70’s in locum roles.

Our Skylakes division also provides an excellent opportunity for social workers to work flexibly, either around other commitments or on a part-time basis.

I have a disability e.g. dyslexia, deaf etc. How will this affect my chances of getting a job and how can you help me?


Certain disabilities may limit the range of locum roles you are able to take on, however this should not stop you from continuing to work in social work in contract roles.

It is very important that you tell your Sanctuary consultant, and any manager who interviews you for a role, about your disability at the start. We can then discuss what sort of additional support you might need for certain tasks – for example, with interviews or report writing.

CHANGING ROLES


I am currently working in a front line team but I am really interested in fostering, how do I go about this?


Managers recruiting for locum roles will be looking for people with specific experience and skills in order to undertake a particular role. If you have experience of working in a fostering team, or have done specific training in that area, you should highlight those on your CV – otherwise it is unlikely that the employer will want to take you on.

In locum work, it is important to play to your strengths. Employers are looking for people who can come in with the skills allowing them to take on work immediately.

I am working with Children & Families but would like to work with Adults, what do I need to do?


Working as a locum social worker is not a good route to gain experience in a new field.

Managers are looking for locums who have experience in particular roles and don’t require retraining or additional support. They are looking for experienced professionals with the key skills needed for particular roles.

If you do want to switch from children and families to work with adults, you would be better to undertake additional training and consider permanent roles that would allow you to gain the necessary experience.

How do I return to social work after a career break?


There are a number of things that you will need to show if you want to return to social work.

You will need to make sure you are up-to-date with current legislation and are registered as a social worker with the appropriate regulator. Depending on how long your break has been, you may need to undertake some training. This is something that our training division can help you with.

For safeguarding and compliance reasons we will also need you to provide evidence of what you have been doing during your break. You can see details of what information we will require for our safeguarding checks here.

The first step for anyone wishing to return to social work after a career break is to speak to one of our consultants for advice on what roles they are suitable for and what they might need to do in order to get back up to speed.

PAYROLL QUESTIONS


What are the rates of pay as a locum social worker?


What you earn will depend on a number of factors and will vary from role-to-role.

Factors that affect what you might be paid include:
  • How much experience you have in the particular branch of social work and type of role
  • The location of the role
  • Any budgetary constraints the employer may have in place

Your consultant will always give you as much detail as possible on each particular role.

How long is the contract?


Contracts can vary depending on what the employer needs. On average, an initial contract is three months but in some cases these may be extended if the employer needs further work.

Occasionally, an employer will have a specific role or urgent task that requires a smaller amount of work. Your consultant will always let you know if a contract is for less than three months.

Will training be provided?


Sanctuary Personnel has a training division which provides a range of courses for social workers in both adult and children’s services topics.

These comprehensive courses are available to social workers working for Sanctuary at a discounted price.

This can increase your skills which can make you suitable for more roles.

What is the difference between being self-employed and PAYE?


When you work directly for a local authority or other organisation your employer will be responsible working out your hours, holiday entitlement, national insurance and tax which will be on a “pay as you earn” (PAYE) basis. This means that your employer will deduct tax and national insurance from your pay each month.

When you become a locum social worker working through an agency (such as Sanctuary) you will most likely become self-employed. This means that you will be responsible for submitting timesheets for the work you do, issuing invoices for payments when necessary and keeping track of your earnings and expenses in your accounts so that you can pay the correct tax and national insurance.

Being self-employed gives you more control over what you can claim against tax. If you work away from home for example, your travel and expenses will be tax deductible (in line with HMRC guidelines). However, you will need to inform HMRC about being self-employed and submit tax returns, etc, on time.

This might sound a little scary or complicated but your Sanctuary consultant can talk you through what you need to do – just call us on 0333 7000 022 and we will be pleased to help.

Do I need my own professional indemnity insurance or will Sanctuary cover me?


You do not need your own indemnity insurance. You will be covered by Sanctuary.

How much does the role pay?


What you earn will depend on a number of factors and will vary from role-to-role. Factors that affect what you might be paid include:
  • How much experience you have in the particular branch of social work and type of role
  • The location of the role
  • Any budgetary constraints the employer may have in place
Your consultant will always give you as much detail as possible on each particular role.

Will training be provided?


Sanctuary Personnel has a training division that provides a range of courses for social workers in both adult and children’s services topics. Read more at sanctuarytraining.com. These comprehensive courses are available to social workers working for Sanctuary at a discounted price. This can increase your skills, thus making you suitable for more roles.

How long is the contract?


Contracts can vary depending on what the employer needs. On average an initial contract is for three months but in some cases these may be extended if the employer needs further work. Occasionally, an employer will have a specific role or urgent task that requires a smaller amount of work. Your consultant will always let you know if a contract is for less than three months.

I am currently working in a front line team and really want a change and would like to work in fostering, how do I go about this?


Managers recruiting for locum roles will be looking for people with specific experience and skills relevant to a particular role. If you have experience of working in a fostering team, or have done specific training in that area, you will need to highlight those on your CV – otherwise it is unlikely that the employer will consider you for the role if others have the required experience.

In locum work, it is important to play to your strengths. Employers are looking for people who can come in with the skills to take on work immediately.

I am working with Children & Families but would like to work with Adults, what do I need to do?


Working as a locum social worker is not a good route to gain experience in a new field.
Managers are looking for locums who have experience in particular roles and who they can trust to take on tasks without retraining or requiring additional support. They are looking for experienced professionals with the key skills needed for particular roles.

If you are thinking of switching from children and families to work with adults, you would be better to consider additional training and permanent roles that allow you to gain the necessary experience.

How much experience do I need to become a locum?


Generally you will need 12-18 months’ local authority experience as a social worker after completing any period of protected workload and support as a newly qualified social worker.

Every manager is different, but very few will consider newly qualified social workers for locum positions. Most employers will be looking for professionals with local authority experience in oppose to work with a charity or other body.