A Local Government Association (LGA) guide has urged elected members to take action to help keep social workers from quitting local councils.
The guide says councillors with responsibility for social care should make it their business to understand social workers’ concerns in order to avert a retention crisis.
The LGA’s guide identifies staffing, caseloads, training, pay and morale as the five main areas of concern among social workers.
It warns that these, along with rising referrals and diminishing financial and managerial support, were the main reasons why social workers might leave their councils.
The guide says elected members should ensure their council uses the employer standards and gives social workers access to continuing professional development.
‘Supply and demand’
Councillors should also check that their councils have clear career frameworks for social workers and examine how they are using workforce planning to predict supply and demand.
The LGA produced the guide after a series of case studies it commissioned found that the involvement of elected members was crucial in building effective recruitment and retention strategies.