Number of social workers in post at 30 September 2019
There were 30,700 full-time equivalent (FTE) children and family social workers in post at 30 September 2019, an increase of 4.2% compared to the same point in 2018. The corresponding headcount was 32,900, an increase of 3.8% from last year. These increases continue the upward trend seen in recent years.
Age and gender of social workers
In 2019, 55% of FTE children and family social workers were between 30 and 49 years of age, with 16% aged 20 to 29 and a 6% aged 60 years or over. The overwhelming majority of FTE social workers were female (86%).
Time in service at local authority
At 30 September 2019, 61% of FTE children and family social workers had been in service at their current local authority for less than 5 years, up from 59% in 2018. In contrast, there were slight decreases in the proportion of social workers that had been in service for longer periods of time.
Social worker role
At 30 September 2019, just over half (52%) of FTE children and family social workers were reported as being in a case holder role, which was up slightly from 51% at the same point in 2018.
The percentage of social workers that were qualified without cases fell to 13.1%, which was down from 13.8% at the same point last year and 15.0% in 2017.
Ethnicity was known for 82% of social workers (by headcount) in 2019, compared to 83% in 2018. Of those social workers whose ethnicity was known, 78% were white, 12% black, 6% Asian and 4% mixed. There was a slight decrease in the percentage of the work force that was white and a slight increase in the percentage that was black compared to last year. Otherwise, the ethnic distribution of social workers was very similar to the previous two years.