Social workers for children and families

Published

1. Main facts and figures

  • as at 30 September 2020, there were 33,970 children and family social workers employed by local authorities in England, and ethnicity was known for 81.0% of them

  • 71.4% of children and family social workers were White British, and 12.3% were Black (out of those whose ethnicity was known)

  • by comparison, in the 2011 Census, 78.5% of working age people (aged 16 to 64) in England identified as White British, and 3.6% identified as Black

  • between 30 September 2017 and 30 September 2020, the percentage of children and family social workers who were White went down and the percentage who were Black went up

2. Things you need to know

What the data measures

The data shows the number of social workers working in children and family services (where ethnicity was known), and the percentage from each ethnic group.

The data includes social workers who are both:

  • registered with the Health and Care Professional Council
  • working with children and families in a local authority in England

The data is based on a headcount on 30 September 2020. This is the total number of children and family social workers, regardless of whether they worked part-time or full-time.

Numbers of social workers are rounded to the nearest 10. Percentages are rounded to 1 decimal place.

The ethnic groups used in the data

Data is shown for the 16 ethnic groups used in the 2001 Census.

Methodology

Read the detailed methodology document for the data on this page.

In the data file

See Download the data for the numbers of social workers with unknown ethnicity between 30 September 2017 and 30 September 2020.

3. By ethnicity

Percentage and number of children and family social workers by ethnicity (where ethnicity was known)
Ethnicity % Number
All 100.0 27,510
Asian 5.6 1,530
Bangladeshi 0.6 170
Indian 2.6 730
Pakistani 1.6 430
Asian other 0.7 200
Black 12.3 3,380
Black African 6.0 1,640
Black Caribbean 4.3 1,180
Black other 2.0 560
Mixed 3.5 970
Mixed White/Asian 0.7 190
Mixed White/Black African 0.5 150
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 1.4 390
Mixed other 0.9 250
White 77.7 21,370
White British 71.4 19,650
White Irish 1.3 350
White other 5.0 1,370
Other including Chinese 1.0 260
Chinese 0.1 40
Any other 0.8 220

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity’ (CSV)

Summary of Social workers for children and families By ethnicity Summary

The data shows that, as at 30 September 2020:

  • there were 33,970 children and family social workers employed by local authorities in England, and ethnicity was known for 27,510 social workers (81.0% of them)

  • 71.4% of children and family social workers were White British, and 12.3% were Black (out of those whose ethnicity was known)

  • 6.0% were from the Black African ethnic group – the highest percentage out of all 16 ethnic groups used in the 2001 Census, after the White British group

  • 0.1% were from the Chinese ethnic group – the lowest percentage out of all ethnic groups

  • by comparison, in the 2011 Census, 78.5% of working age people (aged 16 to 64) in England identified as White British, 3.6% as Black, and 0.9% as Chinese

4. By ethnicity over time

Percentage and number of children and family social workers by ethnicity over time (where ethnicity was known)
2017 2018 2019 2020
Ethnicity 2017 % 2017 Number 2018 % 2018 Number 2019 % 2019 Number 2020 % 2020 Number
All 100.0 25,190 100.0 26,280 100.0 26,880 100.0 27,510
Asian 5.2 1,300 5.3 1,400 5.5 1,470 5.6 1,530
Bangladeshi 0.6 140 0.6 150 0.6 170 0.6 170
Indian 2.6 660 2.5 660 2.7 710 2.6 730
Pakistani 1.3 330 1.4 380 1.6 420 1.6 430
Asian other 0.7 170 0.8 210 0.7 180 0.7 200
Black 10.6 2,670 11.1 2,920 12.0 3,230 12.3 3,380
Black African 4.4 1,100 4.8 1,270 5.5 1,480 6.0 1,640
Black Caribbean 4.5 1,130 4.4 1,140 4.4 1,180 4.3 1,180
Black other 1.7 440 1.9 500 2.1 570 2.0 560
Mixed 3.1 790 3.3 880 3.5 930 3.5 970
Mixed White/Asian 0.5 130 0.6 150 0.6 160 0.7 190
Mixed White/Black African 0.6 140 0.5 140 0.5 140 0.5 150
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 1.2 290 1.3 340 1.4 380 1.4 390
Mixed other 0.9 220 0.9 250 0.9 250 0.9 250
White 80.0 20,160 79.0 20,770 78.0 20,980 77.7 21,370
White British 73.1 18,420 71.7 18,830 70.8 19,040 71.4 19,650
White Irish 1.6 390 2.5 650 1.4 390 1.3 350
White other 5.3 1,350 4.9 1,290 5.7 1,550 5.0 1,370
Other including Chinese 1.1 280 1.2 310 1.0 270 1.0 260
Chinese 0.1 30 0.1 40 0.2 40 0.1 40
Any other 1.0 250 1.1 280 0.8 230 0.8 220

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity over time’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity over time’ (CSV)

Summary of Social workers for children and families By ethnicity over time Summary

The data shows that, between 30 September 2017 and 30 September 2020:

  • the total number of children and family social workers went up from 30,670 to 33,970 (or from 25,190 to 27,510 for those whose ethnicity was known)

  • the percentage of children and family social workers who were White went down from 80.0% to 77.7%

  • the percentage who were Black went up from 10.6% to 12.3% – the highest increase out of all aggregated ethnic groups

  • the Mixed White and Asian (0.5% to 0.7%), and Black African (4.4% to 6.0%) ethnic groups had the highest percentage increases of children and family workers out of all 16 ethnic groups used in the 2001 Census

5. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Administrative data

Type of statistic

Official statistics

Publisher

Department for Education

Publication frequency

Yearly

Purpose of data source

The figures are used to monitor the diversity of the children’s social work workforce.

6. Download the data

Social workers for children and families - Spreadsheet (csv) 11 KB

This file contains the following: measure, ethnicity, year, headcount, percentage.