Social workers for children and families

Published

1. Main facts and figures

  • on 30 September 2021, there were 34,680 social workers for children and families employed by local authorities in England, and ethnicity was known for 80.6% of them
  • 70.4% of social workers were white British, and 12.8% were black (out of those whose ethnicity was known)
  • by comparison, in the 2011 Census, 78.5% of working age people (16 to 64 year olds) in England identified as white British, and 3.6% identified as black
  • in the 4 years to 30 September 2021, the percentage of 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 Social Work England
  • working with children and families in a local authority in England

The data is based on the total number of full-time and part-time social workers counted on 30 September each year.

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 2021.

3. By ethnicity

Percentage and number of children and family social workers by ethnicity (where ethnicity was known)
Ethnicity % Number
All 100.0 27,950
Asian 5.7 1,600
Bangladeshi 0.6 180
Indian 2.6 720
Pakistani 1.5 430
Chinese 0.1 40
Other Asian 0.8 230
Black 12.8 3,590
Black African 6.4 1,790
Black Caribbean 4.2 1,180
Other Black 2.2 620
Mixed 3.9 1,100
Mixed White and Asian 0.8 220
Mixed White and Black African 0.5 140
Mixed White and Black Caribbean 1.6 460
Other Mixed 1.0 290
White 76.6 21,420
White British 70.4 19,690
White Irish 1.3 360
Other White 4.9 1,370
Other 0.9 240

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, on 30 September 2021:

  • there were 34,680 social workers for children and families employed by local authorities in England, and ethnicity was known for 27,950 of them
  • 70.4% were white British, and 12.8% were black (out of those whose ethnicity was known)
  • 6.4% were from the black African ethnic group – the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups 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 (16 to 64 year olds) 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 2021
Ethnicity 2017 % 2017 Number 2018 % 2018 Number 2019 % 2019 Number 2020 % 2020 Number 2021 % 2021 Number
Asian 5.3 1,330 5.5 1,440 5.6 1,510 5.7 1,570 5.7 1,600
Bangladeshi 0.6 140 0.6 150 0.6 170 0.6 170 0.6 180
Indian 2.6 660 2.5 660 2.7 710 2.6 730 2.6 720
Pakistani 1.3 330 1.4 380 1.6 420 1.6 430 1.5 430
Chinese 0.1 30 0.1 40 0.2 40 0.1 40 0.1 40
Other Asian 0.7 170 0.8 210 0.7 180 0.7 200 0.8 230
Black 10.6 2,670 11.1 2,920 12.0 3,230 12.3 3,380 12.8 3,590
Black African 4.4 1,100 4.8 1,270 5.5 1,480 6.0 1,640 6.4 1,790
Black Caribbean 4.5 1,130 4.4 1,140 4.4 1,180 4.3 1,180 4.2 1,180
Other Black 1.7 440 1.9 500 2.1 570 2.0 560 2.2 620
Mixed 3.1 790 3.3 880 3.5 930 3.5 970 3.9 1,100
Mixed White and Asian 0.5 130 0.6 150 0.6 160 0.7 190 0.8 220
Mixed White and Black African 0.6 140 0.5 140 0.5 140 0.5 150 0.5 140
Mixed White and Black Caribbean 1.2 290 1.3 340 1.4 380 1.4 390 1.6 460
Other Mixed 0.9 220 0.9 250 0.9 250 0.9 250 1.0 290
White 80.0 20,150 79.0 20,770 78.0 20,980 77.7 21,370 76.6 21,420
White British 73.1 18,410 71.7 18,830 70.8 19,040 71.4 19,650 70.4 19,690
White Irish 1.6 390 2.5 650 1.4 390 1.3 350 1.3 360
Other White 5.3 1,350 4.9 1,290 5.7 1,550 5.0 1,370 4.9 1,370
Other 1.0 250 1.1 280 0.8 230 0.8 220 0.9 240

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 2021:

  • the total number of social workers for children and families went up from 30,660 to 34,680 (or from 25,190 to 27,950 for those whose ethnicity was known)
  • the percentage of social workers who were white went down from 80.0% to 76.6%
  • the percentage who were black went up from 10.6% to 12.8% – the highest increase out of all aggregated ethnic groups

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) 13 KB

This files contains the following variables: Measure, Ethnicity, Ethnicity_type, Year, Geographic_level, Country_code, Country_name, Headcount, Value, Value_type