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Case Study - Hertfordshire Family Safeguarding Project

Recruitment partner for Hertfordshire’s Family Safeguarding Project

The brief

In March 2015, Sanctuary Personnel was appointed by Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) as a recruitment partner for its Family Safeguarding Project. The project received a £4.9m grant from the Department for Education’s Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme after HCC was successful in its bid to develop and pilot one of the most significant redesigns of social care services – one that could pave the way for national reform. 

As a first-of-its-kind collaboration across HCC and partnering agencies in health and social care, the Family Safeguarding Project focuses on the highest-risk children and families in Hertfordshire, improving protection and their life chances. 

Before the Family Safeguarding Project commenced, there were 19 locality based safeguarding children’s teams across Hertfordshire, operating from three district offices. They work with just over 1000 children on protection plans, around 230 looked after children and 600 children in need. As an evolution of these teams, the Family Safeguarding Project involved the creation of 22 Family Safeguarding Teams (FSTs) as multidisciplinary support to help tackle three main areas of risk to children; domestic abuse, substance misuse and mental health. 

The nature of this project placed a huge responsibility on effective and timely recruitment. Sanctuary was contracted to support HCC and partners in the recruitment of children’s social workers, assessment team managers, domestic violence specialists, substance misuse professionals and nurses (including psychologists, occupational therapists, and psychiatric social workers). 

The challenge

The multidisciplinary staffing of these teams was one of the most important, and challenging, recruitment needs of the project. This way of working had never been done before, therefore the roles, or even an awareness of the service, didn’t exist. 

Sanctuary Personnel consists of specialist recruitment divisions: Sanctuary Social Care, the largest independent provider of social workers in the UK; Sanctuary Health, supplying a broad range of health professionals including doctors and nurses as well as mental health, allied health, health science services and imaging personnel; and Sanctuary Criminal Justice, staffing youth offending, probation, substance misuse and offender health teams. 

This made us best placed to support a unique project such as Family Safeguarding, utilising the expertise from our specialist divisions to be a one point of call for HCC and its partners. 

A bespoke recruitment campaign

The project required a recruitment marketing campaign that included a new brand identity, logo, microsite, PR campaign, digital advertising plan and associated collateral to support the recruitment of staff for the project.

This involved Sanctuary Personnel’s in-house team of specialists in graphic design, digital, content, public relations and event and project management, delivering a creative marketing campaign designed to reach across the relevant specialist sectors.

This involved:

Branding: The branding was created to reflect HCC and its partner agencies. The branding was used across all marketing collateral for the project. This also included the creation of a logo, for which numerous concepts were explored to represent child protection and the partner agencies as well as taking into account its use within health and social care sectors and the public domain.  

Microsite: The branding and microsite were completed, approved by all partners and live in less than three weeks, ready for the project launch. We planned, designed, produced content for and developed the microsite as the key hub of information for our target audience. It includes information on the project, the partners, the locations and job opportunities across all of the disciplines. We created interactive functionalities to encourage visitors to click and explore. 

In-house magazine: We featured the Family Safeguarding Project in two consecutive issues of Sanctuary Social Work News, our quarterly digital and printed magazine distributed to over 50,000 social work contacts. 

Database/reach: Before the project went live, we sent Sanctuary branded mailers introducing the project to our candidates across all our divisions. 

The results

Sue Williams, Director of Family Safeguarding at Hertfordshire County Council said: “The work undertaken by the Sanctuary Marketing Team has been first class. From the design work for our logo, the choice of colours, pictures, wording and the graphics to the recommendations on advertising and assistance with negotiating discounts with media, we could not have had a higher quality service. We are delighted with the outcomes.”

Throughout the campaign, our marketing team have worked closely with our specialist recruitment consultants, who have been recruiting for our client for several years. They are familiar with the local areas, its services and ways to attract candidates. For example, some of Hertfordshire’s office locations were easier to recruit for than others, so along with our efforts to attract candidates to relocate to Hertfordshire, the recruitment consultants looked into commuter links from neighbouring areas. Our marketing team supported this with an interactive map on the microsite, along with accessible information on various transport links. As a result, we have even attracted a domestic abuse specialist to commute from as far as Norfolk. 

We were naturally delighted when we were announced as the winner of a highly regarded ‘Best Recruitment Campaign & Client Partnership’ at the 2015 IRP Awards for our work on Hertfordshire’s Family Safeguarding Project. 

Ultimately, the success of the recruitment campaign was based on a paralleled delivery between Hertfordshire County Council and Sanctuary, where everyone from senior management and HR to those in sales, marketing and compliance, were kept informed of needs and progress.  This encouraged unique approaches to recruitment and an entirely bespoke service for our client. 


A gift to say thanks!
A gift to say thanks!
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