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Caseload pressures on social workers revealed

Four in 10 social workers feel they have an unmanageable caseload, according to research by specialist social work recruitment consultancy Liquid Personnel. Two thirds of practitioners who responded to a survey reported that their caseload had increased in the last 12 months, and 84 per cent said they often worked over-time just to get the job done.

Liquid Personnel managing director Jonathan Coxon said: “Our survey highlights some of the difficulties of being a frontline social worker. While child protection workers are often portrayed negatively in the media, it’s essential to stand up for social workers and give a true reflection of the challenges they are faced with in their daily work.

“Excessive caseloads are a problem for many social work teams, and they can have a significant effect on frontline workers’ ability to do their jobs effectively. “We have seen how unmanageable caseloads can lead to dangerous working conditions and create risks for vulnerable children, and this situation will persist unless caseloads are addressed,” he added.

The survey of more than 200 practitioners across England and Wales found caseloads were particularly an issue in child protection, with 40 per cent saying their current workload is unmanageable.