Number of social workers in post at 30 September
There were 31,900 full-time equivalent (FTE) children and family social workers in post at 30 September 2020, an increase of 3.7% compared to the same point in 2019. The corresponding headcount was 34,000, an increase of 3.2% from last year. These increases continue the upward trend seen in recent years.
Age and gender of social workers
In 2020, 55% of FTE children and family social workers were between 30 and 49 years of age, with 16% aged 20 to 29 and 7% aged 60 years or over; a similar distribution to last year. The overwhelming majority of FTE social workers were female (86%).
Time in service at local authority
The overall distribution of time in service for social workers was similar to last year. At 30 September 2020, 60% of FTE children and family social workers had been in service at their current local authority for less than 5 years.
Social worker role
At 30 September 2020, just over half (51%) of FTE children and family social workers were reported as being in a case holder role, similar to 2019.
The percentage of social workers that were qualified without cases was unchanged from last year at 13%, but down from 15% in 2017.
A case holder is a children and family social worker that manages cases, but is not in a senior manager, middle manager, first line manager or senior practitioner role.
Ethnicity was known for 81% of social workers in 2020. Of these, 78% were white, 12% black, 6% Asian and 4% mixed - the same as last year.