A model for monitoring the supply and demand of social workers in England will be made public at the National Children and Adult Services Conference (NCAS) this week.
The Centre for Workforce Intelligence (CfWI) was tasked with creating a system for gathering workforce data to help forecast the numbers of social workers needed in future years, which was one of the Social Work Task Force’s 15 recommendations for improving the profession.
The newly developed model, which is being launched at NCAS on 20 October, will be made available to trial sites for testing.
At a local level, the model will take actual numbers of social workers and estimated time per case, categorising the social workers according to their level of experience and the cases according to their complexity, to produce a forecast.
With sufficient input across a region or group of local authorities, the model will produce regional forecasts and, with enough regions, a national forecast.
The model being released is not calibrated and will need to be customised.
A spokesperson for the CfWI said: “We are not making any forecasts or predictions of future supply and demand with this model at this stage. It is simply a model to help people understand supply and demand trends better.”
The Social Work Task Force’s final report, published in November 2009, found there was a lack of “reliable ‘real time’ data on the characteristics of the workforce and trends within it (eg, vacancy rates”)”.
It added: “Equally, there is no agreed model for estimating and influencing the number of social workers needed in local areas.”
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