Social workers are continuing to increase their presence in English councils, bucking the trend of an ongoing decline in the number of social services staff in local authorities, new figures reveal.
The Information Centre for Health and Social Care said the number of whole time equivalent council social workers rose by 3.4% from 38,800 in 2005 to 40,100 in 2006, up 21.6% on the 1997 figure.
However, the total employed by social services has fallen by 7.1% since 1997 and by 1.5% since to 213,000 whole time equivalent posts in 2006.
The centre said that 76% of council social workers were female and 16% were from black and minority ethnic communities.
Essential information on the social care workforce