Aside from the war in Ukraine, no subject has dominated the news in 2022 more than the cost of living crisis.
Soaring costs for energy, fuel and food – driven in part by the war, as well as other factors such as supply-chain issues – are forcing households across the UK to cut back on spending.
Energy bills have increased at least 14 times more quickly than wages, according to unions, plunging people into debt.
Things are set to get worse in the autumn as falling temperatures coincide with another rise in the energy price cap, which has already gone up by almost £700.
Many experts have been warning that the crisis is deepening societal inequalities, because it is hitting poorer households hardest.
With this in mind, we are launching a survey to gather social workers’ perspectives on how people you support are being affected – and whether you feel you have the tools to mitigate those impacts.
Of course, public-sector employees, including social workers, are also feeling the pinch. We also want to know if your work and personal life are being affected, whether your petrol allowance is meeting costs and whether your employer is taking any steps to ease the pressure on staff. If you’ve recently gone agency or are thinking of doing so, is the cost of living crisis a factor? And how much do employers need to be raising salaries by?
If you are a social worker or social work manager within a local authority, children’s services trust, NHS trust, Cafcass or any other statutory body in the UK, we’d like to hear from you.