Local authority staffing returns for the UK

Latest statistics on the UK’s four social care workforces point to small gains in the number of social workers but declines in social care staff. Also several countries are now recording the numbers of registered social workers.

England (30 September 2007)

Local authorities with social services responsibilities employed 208,600 (whole time equivalent) as of September 2007, which is 2% down on the previous year.
Half of all staff are part-time and 80% were women. A third of councils employed more than the national average (11%) of black and ethnic minority staff but overall 84% of social care staff were white.

Social services staff split into the following numbers (wte):

• 115,800 area office and field work staff
• 45,00 residential care staff
• 25,700 day care
• 20,000 central office/strategic (half of which are support staff).

There were 45,200 social work staff, which is was 2% higher than the previous year. This included

• 23,600 in children services
• 11,500 in health settings/specialist teams
• 8,700 in adults/elderly
• 900 in generic
• 400 in day centres

• 77% (wte) social work staff were women

The General Social Care Council says that more than 90,000 social workers are registered in England

Source: Personal Social Services Staff of Social Services Departments 30 September 2007, England. ONS

Scotland (1 October 2007)

Scottish councils employed 44,243 (wte) social services staff in October 2007. This is up from 41,343 in the previous year.

The majority (84.8%) of all staff in October 2007 were female and only 1% ethnic minorities with 1.7% of staff having disabilities.

There were just under 5,000 social workers and nearly 4,500 social work assistants and other fieldwork staff.

The three main areas of work for social workers and assistants are:

• Children’s fieldwork
212 team leaders/managers
524 senior social workers were 524 (senior)
1,761 main grade and
53 trainee social workers)

• Adults fieldwork
258 team managers/leaders
345 senior social workers
1,217 main grade
15 trainee

• Work with offenders
64 team managers/leaders
144 senior SWs
669 main grade SWs
171 assistants SWs

There are 5,504 social workers registered with the Scottish Social Services Council.
3,037 (WTE) vacancies in Scottish local authority social work services in October 2007 and 399 vacancies were for qualified social workers.

Source: Information from The Scottish Government

Wales (31 March 2007)

There were 20,471 (wte) social services local authority staff was (3% up on previous year) with central management and support services staff, social workers, staff in hospitals (43%) 1% up on 2006. Home care staff were 21% of  total (wte). 2% down

The numbers of staff working in social work departments was 3,641 by wte an increase from 3,454 from the previous year. This included

• 1,656  working in adults:
• 1,986 in children and young people’s services
• 221 located in hospitals

In all three cases actual social workers, senior practitioners and team managers are the majority of the posts.

There are also another 2,243 registered social care professionals working with adults and children who have the required qualifications.

Another 1,503 (wte) staff undertaking care management and reviews activities.

13% of staff speak welsh.

Source: Welsh social services statistics 2007

Northern Ireland (31 March 2007)

Total employed 31 in health and personal social services was 52,000 (WTE)

There were 5,124 social services (WTE) which included:

• 311 senior social workers/team leaders
• 106 senior pracitioners
• 1144 qualified social workers
• 965 social workers (afc)
• 1244 social work support staff

There were about 50 vacancies particularly in senior practitioners as of 30 September 2007

Source: information from Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety

For more information on the social care workforce go to

Local authority and voluntary sector workforce

Children and young people’s workforce

Social care jobs market

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