Two in five social workers see frontline teams cut

Two in five social workers have seen cuts to their frontline teams and many report admin support being slashed, a survey has found.

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Two in five social workers have seen cuts to their frontline teams and many report admin support being slashed, a survey has found.

Forty per cent of the 500 practitioners surveyed by social work recruitment consultancy Liquid Personnel, all of whom were employed in the public sector, said social worker posts had been axed, despite the government’s promise to protect frontline services.

More than half (55%) reported cuts to administrative and support functions.

This has led to increased pressure on many social workers, Liquid Personnel said, leaving them with more administrative tasks to complete and less time to spend with service users.

Of those respondents who said administrative posts had been cut, nine in 10 said this had had a negative effect on their ability to do their job effectively.

The level of time spent on bureaucratic and administrative tasks came under criticism in Professor Eileen Munro’s review of the child protection system.

Jonathan Coxon, Liquid Personnel’s managing director, said: “Social work is an essential frontline service, and the government has not fulfilled its promises to protect it, leaving councils to make tough decisions about funding.

“The resulting cuts have left social workers feeling betrayed. If this is not addressed, we will struggle to retain the current crop of skilled social workers, let alone attract new people to the profession.

“Frontline social workers need proper administrative support, leaving them free to spend more time with vulnerable children and adults. Cutting that support is clearly a false economy, as less time with service users will simply result in poorer standards of practice.”

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