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Social Workers: Labour Turnover

Question for Department for Education

UIN 113763, tabled on 28 January 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the (a) retention rate of social workers and (b) reasons for social workers leaving the profession.

Answered on

7 February 2022

The latest estimate of local authority employed children’s social worker turnover is 13.5% for the year ending 30 September 2020, down from 15.1% in 2019. This is a measure of all social workers leaving their local authority employer, including social workers leaving the profession and those moving to another social work role. This does not measure numbers of social workers changing roles within their current employer. The department does not produce statistics on the retention rate of social workers.

Data on the reasons for social workers leaving or considering leaving the profession are collected in the department’s longitudinal study of local authority child and family social workers. In the latest wave of the study, Wave 3, respondents who are considering leaving or have left are asked to report all reasons and the main reason. The report is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/longitudinal-study-of-local-authority-social-workers.