Number of children’s social workers leaving their jobs up 16%, statistics show

Government workforce statistics show record numbers of social workers working, but more leaving their current employers

Photo: Bits and Splits/Fotolia

The number of social workers leaving their jobs rose 15.7% last year, Department for Education workforce statistics have shown.

The figures, published this week, revealed that 4,490 (full-time equivalent) social workers had left their job in the year ending September 30 2018, compared with 3,880 in the previous year.

This does not represent the total number of social workers who left the profession, merely those who left their job, potentially for another one in the sector.

The time in service for leavers also made stark reading, with 68% of social workers leaving their local authority before completing five years of service. More than a third of social workers who left their local authority employer did so in the first two years.

At the same, the number of social workers who started work in an employer last year was down by almost 6%.

Despite this, the number of full-time equivalent social workers in the profession is at its highest since the government started collating these workforce statistics, and there was a slight fall in both agency and vacancy rates in local authorities.

However, vacancies covered by agency workers rose over the year, and there was a 4% increase in the number of days missed due to sickness by social workers in 2018, compared to 2017.

4 Responses to Number of children’s social workers leaving their jobs up 16%, statistics show

  1. frank cliffe March 2, 2019 at 1:15 pm #

    The reason for social workers leaving is a indifference by central government and lack of resources which will only get worse sadly.

  2. A Man Called Horse March 7, 2019 at 5:22 pm #

    We should not also forget the hostile climate Social workers are expected to endure. Many families are being subjected to cruel and inhuman welfare reform policies, poor housing and a destruction of support services due to the political choice of Austerity causing some families to collapse.

    We also need to recognise that the job is terrible and very badly paid in relation to responsibilities.

  3. Erin March 8, 2019 at 2:00 pm #

    Moral of the story; don’t go.into social work. It is unequivocally a thankless, soul destroying job; where you will be scrutinised to within an inch of your life.

  4. Tony McGinn March 11, 2019 at 1:19 pm #

    what’s the strategy to improve this – is it just about plowing more money in?