The use of agency social work teams by councils to plug workforce gaps in children’s services has increased 10-fold in just five years, according to an investigation by CYP Now. A Freedom of Information (FOI) request sent to all 151 local authorities finds increasing numbers of councils commissioning managed teams of social workers and social work managers over the last five years. Of 100 councils which responded to the request, 25 say they have used a managed team in 2021/22 compared with just two in 2017/18. Overall, 43 per cent of local authorities say they have commissioned a managed team between 2017 and 2022, amounting to a total cost of £41.1m across all councils. Read more.