More than one in 10 child protection social workers say their team has staff shortages of more than 50%, a survey by the British Association of Social Workers has revealed.
And just over half of the 151 respondents to BASW’s online poll said their department was understaffed by 30% or more.
Only 5% of the child protection social workers who responded to the survey said their team was fully staffed with permanent social workers. Around a third said their teams were only fully staffed as a result of using agency workers, while 13% of respondents said they have a shortage of more than 50% of permanent social work staff.
“Social work has been left in a terrible state by the previous government and we are still facing ridiculously high vacancy rates and case loads,” said Hilton Dawson, chief executive of BASW.
“We must not let services suffer; we must not allow social work resources to be cut – whether frontline services or those back office workers who make the lives of social workers that little bit more manageable.”
BASW has launched a campaign, Not Doomed Yet, to encourage members to lobby their MPs and employers to protect social work from spending cuts. The campaign has secured an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons.
The association has also written to Prime Minister David Cameron and his deputy Nick Clegg to urge them to prioritise social work and spare the profession from spending cuts in the budget on 22 June.