Increase in children’s social workers offered counselling

But Community Care figures show the majority of child protection social workers are unaware if services are available to them

Photo: BusinessImages/ RexShutterstock

The percentage of child protection social workers saying their employer offers them counselling has risen slightly in the past two years, according to a survey by Community Care.

Community Care’s 2015 child protection survey found 31% of social workers say their employer provides counselling to help them deal with the cases they work on, up from 29% in 2013’s survey.

The percentage who said their employer does not provide any counselling fell from 53% in 2013 to 43% in 2015 but the proportion of social workers who said they do not know if counselling was available rose from 18% in 2013 to 27% in 2015.

However, despite the slight rise in the proportion reporting that counselling was available to them, the percentage of social workers who use counselling services where it is available rose only slightly to 6%.

Unison said more local authorities need to offer counselling for social workers. “Too many social workers are not being offered the support they need to help them do this incredibly demanding job to the best of their ability,” said Unison general secretary Dave Prentis.

“There is a huge amount of scrutiny and pressure on social workers and it is disappointing that this is not being recognised by employers or the government. Councils should make counselling services available to all staff who need it, but of course this requires the government to fund councils properly and stop slashing their budgets.”

A total of 1,093 social workers responded to the question about counselling services in Community Care’s 2015 child protection survey compared to 592 in the 2013 survey.

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