Social workers wary over future of social care

Almost 40 per cent of social care professionals surveyed by
Community Care think that social care as a distinct
discipline will not exist

home help care worker  

in five years’ time, whoever wins the election,
writes Clare Jerrom.

Another third of professionals were unsure whether social care
would exist within half a decade, while just five per cent were
certain that social care would remain a distinct discipline.

The exclusive survey of more than 3,000 social care
professionals also found that more than three quarters agreed or
strongly agreed that most politicians are ignorant about social

Other findings were:-

• Almost nine out of 10 professionals
thought that politicians tended to overlook people working in
social care when talking about the public sector workforce.

• 92 per cent thought that staff morale
was damaged by the way the media reports on social care.

• More than eight out of 10 people
thought recruitment and retention of staff was exacerbated by the
way the media reports on social care.

• Just 13 per cent agreed that senior
politicians had confidence in the skills and professionalism of
those working in social care.

The research also revealed that almost 70 per cent of those
surveyed earned between £20,000 and £34,999, with the
majority earning between £25,000 and £29,999.

Despite reports of widespread “golden
hello’s”, less than two per cent of those surveyed
received a joining bonus and almost three per cent receive a
loyalty bonus. More than a quarter received registration with the
General Social Care Council as part of their package while more
than a third had access to flexi-time.

The challenge of social work was what inspired most people to do
the job while adequate resources, freedom to make choices,
relationships with colleagues and recognition of work done were all
important to social care professionals in their jobs.

Loyalty to employers also emerged from the survey as 15 per cent
of those surveyed had been with their current employer more than 15
years. The majority – almost 30 per cent – had been
employed between one and three years.

Almost one fifth left their previous employer due to poor senior
support and advice, while more than one in 10 left due to
inadequate resources and a further 10 per cent left due to high
workloads. The main reason for changing employer was, however,
career progression and the opportunity for a fresh challenge.

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