Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has today marked Work Social Day, and called on the Government to take action to tackle the number of social workers leaving or planning to leave the profession.
World Social Work Day aims to celebrate social workers for the important role that they carry out in supporting people with additional needs and through difficult periods of their life. It has been running for several years, and is organised by the British Association of Social Workers.
A recent survey conducted by the BASW found that increasing workloads due to the pandemic has exacerbated working conditions in social work, which is driving staff to leave. This echoes a concerning outlook on social worker retention, with statistics showing that the number of children and family social workers leaving during 2021 was up by 16%, and the highest in the last 5 years.
Commenting, Andrew Gwynne said:
“I am immensely grateful to social workers for the incredible work that they do in supporting people with additional needs. The work that they do is so valuable.
These figures are really concerning. Social workers need rest, they need support, and they need balance. If they don’t receive that, we will see burnout and staff numbers will continue to fall.
This World Social Work Day, the best way we can thank social workers is for the Government to take action on working conditions, and boost staff retention.”
In response to their survey, BASW Chief Executive Dr Ruth Allen said:
“We know social workers are dedicated to supporting adults and children but over the past five years we have been warning Government that their working conditions have been deteriorating year after year.
“Without urgent action we are risking highly motivated and experienced social workers leaving the profession. Meanwhile, our survey shows newer social workers are not being supported enough to stay in the sector.”