Last Friday the Department for Education published its annual children’s social work workforce statistics, which for the second year running recorded a slight fall in the average number of cases practitioners hold.
According to the government’s census, conducted each autumn, social workers practising in English local authorities held an average of 16.9 cases each as of 30 September 2019.
Broken down by local authority, social work caseloads showed significant differences, with North East Lincolnshire reporting almost 33 cases per social worker while five London boroughs said their practitioners handled fewer than 13 apiece.
But the raw numbers cannot capture the nuances of social workers’ experiences across different employers, nor how those case totals translate in terms of workloads that are manageable or not.
This week we are repeating our survey to try to find out how your experiences compare with the official averages, and what that means in terms of the impact of work on your life.
Research into social work caseloads conducted two years ago by Community Care also suggested that for many, the number of children’s and families’ cases actually handled at a given time is significantly higher than the annual data release indicates.
If you’re a practising children’s social worker, either permanent or agency and based within an English local authority or children’s services trust, we’d appreciate it if you could follow the link above take five minutes out of your week to let us know how your current situation stacks up.
The survey will run until midnight on Monday 9 March and we will publish results later that week. Thanks for your time.