Social services chiefs have admitted social workers are leaving in their droves.
Kirklees Council has revealed agency staff make up about a quarter of its workforce in children’s services.
The Examiner understands levels of temporary workers in the frontline child protection teams is much higher.
A Kirklees spokesperson said: “At present agency staff make up around 25% of our staff.
“Whilst having our own staff is the council’s preference, we feel that agency staff can also bring benefits to the service such as learning from other councils and additional skills and experience.
“Since the beginning of 2016, 26 practitioners have left the social work team.
“The council will be gathering their reasons for leaving and this will influence their support and training plans for the future.
“The council has identified that ensuring the stability of the workforce is one of the highest priorities going forward.
“We know that staff engagement is very important to this and as such host and attend regular staff forums, and issue weekly newsletters from their assistant director – Carly Speechley, about changes that are being made.
“The current director of children’s services, Sarah Callaghan , also writes a regular blog for staff across the council.”
Mrs Callaghan said: “We value staff and see them as our greatest asset however our priority will always be the safety of children and young people.
“As such, it is critically important that we have high expectations of our staff, and in order to reach these high expectations we need to put in place the tools to support staff to achieve them.
“We have put in place a number of tools to ensure our staff can be their very best, this included launching our Best Practice Standards which clearly demonstrates what good practice looks like and promoting our Quality Assurance Framework – Achieving Excellence.”