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The Social Work Survey 2014-2015

The 2014-2015 Social Work Survey is the latest in a series of annual surveys by Liquid Personnel, the specialist social work recruitment consultancy. We have been conducting detailed opinion polls of social work practitioners for several years, looking at their views, the challenges they face, and the forces which impact upon their daily work.

The first Social Work Survey was launched in 2010, looking at a range of elements including morale, working hours, and how to attract more people into the profession. Over the last 4 years, the survey has grown significantly both in terms of its scale and scope. We have looked in increasing depth at the working lives of the UK’s social workers, each year seeking to understand more about the profession, and also to highlight the key challenges arising. This has included assessing the manageability of caseloads, looking at a social worker’s typical day, and canvassing opinion on topical news stories from the closure of the GSCC to the introduction of the Frontline fast track social work training initiative.

There have also been significant increases in the level of response. Whilst the 2010 survey generated a little under 300 responses, the 2014-2015 Social Work Survey was answered by 1,571 social work practitioners of various levels, from newly qualified social workers through to directors, making it one of the largest ever independent surveys of UK social workers.

For 2014-2015, we wanted to take another significant step forward, and teamed up with Professor Eileen Munro of the London School of Economics and Political Science. In June 2010, Professor Munro was commissioned by the government to conduct a review of child protection, with her final report published in 2011. This report made a number of recommendations to improve the system, with significant emphasis on shifting the focus away from targets and compliance, and towards the safety and welfare of children and young people. We worked together to create an accessible survey which would provide informative and insightful results. Consequently, this year’s survey looks at the extent to which Professor Munro’s original proposals have been brought into practice effectively, and how the challenges identified in the report affect not just child protection, but social workers across all disciplines.