The number of social workers quitting their jobs in England is at a record high, with the trend expected to continue. In 2019-20, only 55% of all qualified social workers remained in their posts for more than 12 months – a drop from 63% in 2017-18.
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This worrying trend has been attributed to several factors, including rising caseloads and pressure on staffing levels. Social workers are often juggling multiple cases while understaffed and overworked, leading to burnout and feelings of isolation and helplessness. The average caseload per worker rose by 21% last year, making it difficult for them to give each case the attention it deserves.
Low pay is also an issue — wages have not kept pace with inflation, and many social workers feel their work is undervalued. Pay freezes have led to disillusionment and a lack of job satisfaction. In addition, cuts to local authority budgets have left social workers struggling to meet the demands of their roles in an increasingly challenging environment.
The combination of these factors seriously impacts the morale and mental health of social workers, leading many to quit the profession altogether. With more people leaving than entering the field, action must be taken now to address this issue and ensure the future stability of England’s social work sector. Improving wages, reducing caseloads, and restoring funding are just some of the measures that need to be taken to keep social workers in their posts and prevent further departures. Doing so will benefit not only the sector, but also those who rely on social work services and the vulnerable individuals they are there to help. Without action now, we risk losing this vital profession’s entire generation of committed professionals. That would be a tragedy for all involved.Need to find out more? Click Here
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