What do you value in a social work job?

Help us influence what employers offer staff by taking part in Community Care's annual jobseeker research

social worker reading report
Photo: fotolia/sodawhiskey

Community Care has launched its annual jobseeker survey, to identify what social workers look for in a job and what keeps them in their current role, and in the profession more generally.

As in previous years, we will be sharing the findings with employers, so by answering the survey you will be helping influence what organisations offer their staff.

This could not be more vital at a time when social work recruitment and retention pressures are more significant than ever.

Latest official figures show that vacancies and turnover rose in both children’s and adults’ services in 2020-21, while one in 12 statutory children’s social workers left the sector in the same year.

At the same, working through pandemic has taken a significant toll on the workforce, and Ofsted has recently warned of negative consequences from the shift to remote working across the profession.

In that context, it’s never been more important to highlight what social workers value in their jobs. The jobseeker survey asks about issues including:

  • preferences for agency or permanent work;
  • what might tempt you into looking for a new role;
  • how you feel the application process should operate;
  • what employers could do to make you want to stay in social work for longer.

As a thank you for your time in completing the survey, you will be given the option to be entered into a draw where two winners will receive a £50 gift voucher from One4All. The survey will be open until 9 September.

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3 Responses to What do you value in a social work job?

  1. Petra August 2, 2022 at 7:42 pm #

    What I value above all is a manager who actually likes social work and doesn’t regard social workers as an incongruent irritants in their quest for “innovation”.

    • Abdul August 5, 2022 at 10:48 am #

      What I value is professional pay for a hard job, a supportive and responsive manager, a fair and manageable caseload, a work/life balance, resources and admin support, a full compliment of staff, a professional and friendly working environment, and IT systems which work. None of this are available in statutory social worker in the local authority, that is why I am exiting the profession after 25 years as a front-line local authority children’s Social Worker.

  2. Elizabeth August 9, 2022 at 3:11 pm #

    Now retired- I enjoyed being a social worker in a multi cultural environment. Learning not only from my colleagues but from many of my clients. The majority of my managers were approachable and fair. Managers were generally aware of ‘burnout’ and in discussion with staff, set a limit on caseloads. This was an adult section and some cases, especially safeguarding, took up much of our time, so we may have less cases than colleagues who held straight forward cases. As a hospital team we worked closely with medical personnel including the local psychiatric hospital.

    As social workers we had to fight many of our NHS colleagues to gain acceptance and respect as fellow professionals. We could determine our working hours (starting between 8 – 10 am and finishing between 4-6 pm) and were encouraged to work from home especially when dealing with reports etc. Various IT programmes were introduced over the years, some less efficient than others..

    I was at the top of my pay scale, but was given an enhanced pay rise to compensate. Although worked past statutory retirement age, I would have remain in LA service if it was not for mobility issues. I undertook a Practice Teacher certificate at a local university and for 3 years post retirement worked with student social worker on placement in a voluntary social work charity. – As a mature entrant to social work- I feel I had sufficient life experience to understand what the work entailed, and if I could choose my career again, would still choose social work.

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