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Reforms require ‘unfeasible’ increase in social work numbers

Councils would require an “unfeasible” increase in adult social work numbers to implement the government’s care reforms unless they change systems, according to a recent study by the County Councils Network and consultancy firm Newton.

The report estimates that English authorities would need to carry out an estimated 105,000 extra Care Act assessments a year because of an influx of self-funders into the system on the back of the reforms, which are due to be fully implemented in October 2023,

This would require 4,300 more adult social workers under the current operating model, an increase of roughly a quarter on the workforce of the 15,655 practitioners. However, councils currently have 1,600 vacant posts.


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