, , , ,

World Social Work Day: Portsmouth MP urges action to tackle social workers leaving ‘important’ profession

Stephen Morgan MP thanked social workers for the important role that they carry out as the city marked World Social Work Day yesterday, for their role in supporting people with additional needs and through difficult periods in their life.

The City MP also, however, stressed that the Government must take action to tackle the number of social workers leaving or planning to leave the profession. This is in response to a report published by the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) which found that increasing workloads due to the pandemic has exacerbated working conditions in social work, which is driving staff to leave.

These fears arise despite more than 60% of respondents to BASW’s survey saying that they were “happy working in the social work profession”. The survey was the first of BASW’s annual state of social work survey, which unveils a picture of increasing caseloads across adults and children’s services against a backdrop of long-term underfunding of social services.

Echoing a concerning outlook on social worker retention, the Department of Education’s Children’s social work workforce statistics, released last week, shows the number of children and family social workers leaving during 2021 was 4,995, up by 16% compared to 2020 and the highest number in the last 5 years.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:

“Social workers go above and beyond for so many vulnerable people, but the working conditions they are facing are unsustainable and unfair.

“Social workers need rest, balance and support. If they do not receive them, we cannot be surprised that people in the profession are burning out or leaving.

“As we marked World Social Work Day this week, the best way we can thank Portsmouth social workers is for the Government to take urgent action on working conditions so that we can encourage social workers to stay in the profession.”