Caseloads bigger, more complex and harder to manage, say children’s social workers

Community Care have reported that more than a third say caseloads “completely unmanageable” as court pressures, Covid impact and lack of other services increase complexity, taking toll on mental health and leaving some contemplating exit.

Children’s social workers’ caseloads are getting bigger, more complex and harder to manage, taking a toll on their mental health and family life and leaving some contemplating quitting.

That was the message from Community Care’s annual caseloads survey, whose respondents painted a picture of severe pressures – arising from Covid, staffing shortages, court requirements and a lack of other services – that undermined practice quality.

More than a third of the 506 respondents – all of whom work for English councils or children’s trusts –  said their caseloads were “completely unmanageable”, up from 23% the previous year. A further 52% said their cases were “hard to manage”.

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