Social workers for children and families

Published

Last updated 3 March 2021 - see all updates

1. Main facts and figures

  • there were 31,720 children and family social workers employed by local authorities in England as at 30 September 2018, and ethnicity was known for 83% of them
  • 71.7% of children and family social workers were White British (out of those whose ethnicity was known)
  • 11.1% were Black (including people from Black Caribbean, Black African and Other Black backgrounds)
  • 4.9% came from the Other White ethnic group, the highest percentage for any specific ethnic group after White British
  • for comparison, 78.5% of working age people in England identified as White British in the 2011 Census, 3.6% as Black, and 5.6% as Other White
  • the percentage of children and family social workers from each ethnic group was similar to last year

2. Things you need to know

What the data measures

The data shows the number of social workers working in children and family services, and the percentage from each ethnic group.

It includes children and family social workers who are both:

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

The data is based on a snapshot taken on 30 September each year. It shows the total number of children and family social workers (full time and part 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.

The percentages are based on social workers whose ethnicity was known. This was 83% in 2018, and 82% in 2017.

Methodology

Read the detailed methodology document (PDF opens in a new window or tab) for the data on this page.

Comparisons with the working age population use 2011 Census data for England and Wales. They are not meant to be exact comparisons. This is because the data on social workers covers a different geographic area (England only). Read more about how we use Census data and some of the problems involved.

In the data file

See Download the data for figures for 2017 and 2018.

3. By ethnicity

Percentage and number of children and family social workers by ethnicity
Ethnicity % Number
All N/A* 31,720
Asian 5.3 1,400
Bangladeshi 0.6 150
Indian 2.5 660
Pakistani 1.4 380
Asian other 0.8 210
Black 11.1 2,920
Black African 4.8 1,270
Black Caribbean 4.4 1,140
Black other 1.9 500
Mixed 3.3 880
Mixed White/Asian 0.6 150
Mixed White/Black African 0.5 140
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 1.3 340
Mixed other 0.9 250
White 79.0 20,770
White British 71.7 18,830
White Irish 2.5 650
White other 4.9 1,290
Other including Chinese 1.2 310
Chinese 0.1 40
Any other 1.1 280

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

Summary of Social workers for children and families By ethnicity Summary

This data shows that:

  • there were 31,720 child and family social workers employed by local authorities in England as at 30 September 2018, and ethnicity was known for 83% of them
  • 71.7% of child and family social workers were White British (where ethnicity was known)
  • 11.1% were Black, with 4.8% from the Black African ethnic group, 4.4% Black Caribbean and 1.9% Other Black
  • 4.9% were from the Other White group, the highest percentage for any specific ethnic group after White British
  • 0.1% were from the Chinese ethnic group, the smallest percentage out of all specific ethnic groups
  • for comparison, 78.5% of working age people in England identified as White British in the 2011 Census, 3.6% as Black, 5.6% as Other White, and 0.9% as Chinese

4. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Administrative data

Type of statistic

Experimental 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.

5. Download the data