SOCIAL workers continue to vote on possible strike action in West Dunbartonshire ahead of a deadline this week.

Dozens of staff in the children and families section are expecting a result on Monday, April 15.

Workers have been raising the alarm for weeks about a lack of staff and problems with facilities as a result of merging the Alexandria team into Aurora House in Clydebank.

Council officials insisted last week they are working with staff and the Unison union to address concerns.

Unison has said the service is at "crisis point" with about 250 unallocated cases in children and families.

And staff have warned there could be a "Baby P-type incident occurring in West Dunbartonshire" because of the dozen currently vacant posts.

A council spokeswoman said: "We continue to work with staff and their trade union representatives to both maintain and improve services. We have listened to and are addressing the concerns they have raised.

"Recruitment is well underway, including for social worker posts which will not be vacant until the end of May. Interviews are arranged over the next fortnight and in the meantime agency staff have been approved to provide cover until the posts are filled.

"We would like to reassure our residents that every case reported to social work is screened, prioritised and allocated to staff.

"Our offer includes providing additional experienced staff from other areas to support the children and families team; identifying additional work bases in Alexandria in Dumbarton; supplying new laptops to support home working; carrying over leave until June and paying staff for time off in lieu of more than 14 hours."

But a social worker told the Reporter the workers did not feel their bosses were trying to address the problems and there was disagreement over how many staff were needed.

The worker said: "Staff remain very, very strong. There's no sense it's being addressed at all or taking on the trade union's concerns.

"Members of the public and service users have been 100 per cent supportive.

"The membership is prepared to see this through to the bitter end."