five years on back of high stress and caseloads
Four in ten social workers anticipate quitting the profession within the next five years as a result of high caseloads, stress and a negative working environment, finds research for Social Work England published today.
The perspective was held more strongly by children’s practitioners (41%) than adults’ colleagues (37%) and was particularly high among newly-qualified social workers at 48%, found the research by YouGov, based on online surveys of 494 existing practitioners, 135 former social workers and 48 students, backed up by qualitative interviews with 43 others across all three groups.
The study – carried out in April and early May, just after the country went into lockdown – found practitioners had significant pride in the profession, reported by 89%, driven by the feeling of making a difference – however, this was difficult to feel because of workload pressures.
Job-related stress was common among current practitioners (85%), driven by administrative burdens, target-driven practice and caseloads. Again children’s practitioners were more severely affected, with 33% reporting being very stressed and 55% fairly stressed, compared with 28% and 54% respectively for adults’ practitioners.