English social services departments employed 216,400 employees (whole time equivalent) in September 2005. This was a 1 per cent increase on the previous year.

Half of those employed worked full-time.

Women accounted for 81 per cent of all social services employees and nearly a half of all senior services directors (an increase of about a third in the past six years).

The fastest growing area was centre staff, who now account for about 10 per cent of all social services employees. Most of this increase has been among staff dealing with planning and contracts as councils make more use of voluntary or private sector provision.

One in 10 employees were from ethnic minorities.

There were 38,800 social workers, which is an increase of a fifth in the 10 years since 1995.

Children’s services social workers accounted for 46 per cent, with one in five working with adults and the rest mainly working in specialist teams or in health settings. The numbers of social workers employed by children’s services has doubled in the past 10 years and there has been a 40 per cent increase with those working with adult’s services. Generic provision has fallen by nearly a third.

• From www.ic.nhs.uk/


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