Report on the health and wellbeing of social workers

Commenting on a report on the health and wellbeing of social workers Rachael Wardell, Chair of the ADCS Workforce Development Policy Committee, said:

“Day in day out, week in week out, social workers must get alongside families in often challenging and sometimes high-risk situations and support them to make positive changes in their lives. Their work is complex because families are complex, no two situations are ever the same and there is rarely just one solution. We would like to thank all our social workers for the life changing work they do on a daily basis and for choosing to work and remain in one of the most important professions in the country. We recognise many of the issues raised in this report and local authorities are working hard to create the conditions where excellent social work can flourish. We remain committed to ensuring that social workers are well supported at every stage of their career and can effectively manage the emotional and practical demands of the role. Ensuring working conditions are appropriate, caseloads are manageable and that social workers receive high quality, regular and reflective supervision, where they can raise concerns about their emotional and mental health and wellbeing, is something all local authorities are committed to doing. This can be a way of reducing ‘churn’ or burnout in the profession, alongside offering sabbaticals and flexible working patterns.

“Reducing local authority budgets and rising demand are having an impact on the range and reach of services and the work that social workers do with children and their families. Without enough social workers to meet the needs of a rising number of children and families coming to our attention, we as directors of children’s services cannot do our job which is to enable children in the local area to thrive. Despite the financial pressures we face, local authorities continue to invest our limited resources locally and regionally to encourage more people to choose social work as a career and, crucially, to stay in the profession – a national campaign, one that tackles longstanding stereotypes and misconceptions of the profession, would undoubtedly help with this.”


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