Cuts causing stress and long-term sickness, social workers tell survey

Shrinking services are increasing stress levels and making social workers unwell, practitioners surveyed by a leading children’s charity have said. Of 295 children and families’ social workers who participated in the research by Barnardo’s and YouGov, 79% said statutory sector workers were stressed, with many experiencing long-term sickness as a result. The findings come in the wake of a debate last week at Community Care Live, where sector leaders discussed the need for employers to do more to support practitioners experiencing emotional distress. Reflecting the stretched picture, 85% of social workers also said they were unable to give all the children they work with the support and time they needed. The main survey, which explored standards of care for vulnerable children, included responses from teachers and law enforcement staff, with 1,090 professionals participating overall. Barnardo’s shared the responses relating to social workers with Community Care.Broadly mirroring the findings of an all-party parliamentary inquiry published in July, 73% of social workers said thresholds for accessing support had risen, to the point where “only the most extreme cases are offered services”. Read more.

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