Blog: Crisis in social care

Clare Williams talks about the crisis in social care following the results of a UNISON survey published last week.

UNISON has published the results of a survey taken by social workers. The results, while not surprising, confirm our concerns about the current state of social care. Social workers say they are no longer able to do their jobs effectively because of years of repeated cuts that have created a crisis in the sector. You can read the full published report here.

Due to the effects of reduce services and the social conditions created by austerity 95% of participants felt they could not perform their jobs properly. Eight out of ten social workers say they’re forced to work unpaid overtime simply to keep their services going and fewer than one in five (17%) say their workload is manageable.

Over 1,000 social workers took part in the survey showing the devastating effects of the government’s cost-cutting, as key community services are now barely effective. We need ministers to act and put more money into local government before it’s too late.

According to the survey:

  • More than half (56%) are thinking of leaving for jobs that would be less stressful.
  • One in four (25%) social workers are working more than seven hours overtime each week.
  • Eight in ten social workers (80%) say local people aren’t receiving the help and support they need at the right time.
  • More than two thirds (68%) of social workers say jobs have been cut in their department in the past two years.
  • Nearly two thirds (63%) say that the council is not delivering quality services.
  • Four fifths (80%) are regularly working beyond their contracted hours.
  • More than nine in ten (92%) say budget cuts have let to staff morale plummeting.

We need this government to listen to our social workers, who are trying their best to help struggling vulnerable people. We need to change the culture to put people first and stop bring driven by targets and financial needs, the added stress of unmanageable workloads is leading to high stress levels and anxiety.

There is a crisis in social care after 10 years of cuts to local government funding – this need to stop now.

Clare Williams