MPs report on the pressures facing social workers

Evidence from the frontline shows the extent to which some practitioners are struggling to cope with increasing caseloads

Child on swing
Picture credit: Gary Brigden

Social workers often do not have the capacity they need to be able to concentrate on safeguarding vulnerable people, the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on social work has concluded.

Since it began in November 2012, the APPG has heard evidence from frontline social workers of unmanageable caseloads, rising numbers of children entering care and IT systems that are preventing professionals from spending time with those at risk of harm.

Today, the APPG has published an Inquiry into the State of Social Work report summarising its findings.

Ann Clywd, chair of the APPG, said: “What MPs heard during this inquiry is that all too often social workers do not have the capacity they need to be able to concentrate on that vital duty of ensuring the safety of as many young people as possible.”

The APPG was established following lobbying from the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) and comprises more than 20 MPs and peers, including former social workers.

Commenting on the report, BASW’s chief executive Bridget Robb said: “Social workers will welcome this recognition by MPs of the fact that five years on from the Baby Peter tragedy hitting the headlines, the situation simply has not improved.

“Worse still, it appears for some social work professionals to have deteriorated, making it even harder to safeguard young people than it was before.”

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