Time with service users inferior to meeting targets, social care survey finds

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7th May 2015 16:54 - Local Government

A recent survey of 1,571 social workers – conducted by recruitment firm, Liquid Personnel – has revealed that hitting performance targets has to be prioritised, not spending time with service users.

Of the social workers who took part in the survey, 72 per cent said that meeting targets was more important than spending time with service users. Only 13 per cent disagreed with this.

A social worker from the Midlands, who took part in the survey said: “The job these days is target led and not what real social work is about.”

The social workers questioned also identified morale as a problem within the industry, with 49 per cent describing the morale within their team as low. However, individual morale was marginally better, with 33 per cent claiming to have low personal morale.

The survey highlighted that cuts to social services, by the coalition government, has had a profound impact, with 35 per cent of the respondents claiming to gave seen a cut in social work posts on the frontline, in the last 12 months. Another 38 per cent has seen managerial be roles cut.

Around 60 per cent said that they have seen cuts to administrative positions in the last 12 months, which indicated that the local authorities are attempting to protect frontline staff wherever they can. However, the cuts to admin staff had still had a negative effect, with 89 per cent of the respondents believing that admin cuts had made a negative impact.

As well as this, 88 per cent of the participants said that cuts to frontline positions had made them less able to effectively do their job. It could be presumed that this may be a reason as to why social workers do not have much time to meet with service users, as staffing cuts mean more work for those on the frontline.

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