More than 70% of children’s social workers struggled with caseloads on eve of Covid-19 crisis, survey reveals

More than seven in 10 children’s social workers performing statutory work in England were struggling with their caseloads in the days leading up the the UK government’s first coronavirus-related self-isolation measures, research suggests. Just under 800 children’s practitioners responded during early March to a Community Care survey about their social work caseloads. The results make for troubling reading, particularly in the context of fears that Covid-19, and the isolation measures taken to combat it, could deplete the children’s social care workforce, while increasing needs and making it much more difficult for practitioners to do their job.

Seventy two per cent of respondents, all of whom work for English local authorities or children’s services trusts, said they were having difficulties with their social work caseloads. Almost a quarter of social workers (23%) who completed the survey described their workload as ‘completely unmanageable’, while 49% said it was ‘hard to manage’. Just 4% of practitioners perceived their work as ‘comfortably manageable’, while 24% said it was ‘mostly manageable’. Read more.