Hundreds of social workers responded to our caseload survey last year and the results were worrying, if not surprising: one in six of the respondents had more than 40 cases on the go. What also became clear is that there is no standardised way of defining a case and measuring its complexity, making it difficult at times to assess whether someone’s caseload is “too high”.
In response, Community Care is creating a benchmarking tool, which will allow you to compare your caseload with the national average in children’s or adult services or to other social workers with a similar level of experience (from student to manager). It will also let you compare your working day to others, so, for example, you will be able to see if you spend a higher-than-average amount of time on admin tasks.
The simple tool can be used in a number of ways: you might just want to see how you and your colleagues compare to others across the UK or use it as evidence to suggest your caseload is unmanageable.
Community Care will also use the anonymous data to identify and follow national trends, allowing us to do some campaigning journalism on behalf of overstretched social workers.
Help us to help social workers do their jobs
In order to help us create this tool, we need your help. Whether you’re a student, social worker or team manager, please fill in our survey about your current caseload
. This will give us enough data to benchmark against. Once we have a reasonable response rate, we will close the survey and make the benchmarking tool available on Community Care.
The tool will be completely free to use: it will simply require you to register with Community Care or login to your existing account.
Photo by Monkey Business Images/Rex Features (posed by model)
Kirsty McGregor is Community Care’s workforce editor.
Social Worker Blog.