Some authorities are making efforts to tackle the strain of high caseloads – and are starting to see a difference in staff retention
In the children’s services department of Swindon council, a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet is helping to reduce the average social worker caseload and identifying where the department needs extra hands on deck.
The simple case management tool allocates a weighting to each child or case based on a range of factors, such as the case type (for example, children in need, child protection or children looked after), the number of siblings, and the amount of travel or court work required. Each factor is given a number of points, judged by the social worker and their supervisor, and the numbers are totted up: the more complex the case, the more points it is given.
“If it’s done properly, you see fair comparisons across teams and can tell where people might need extra help,” says Karen Reeve, the director of the department who introduced the tool after using it in four other councils.
Read the full article: ‘We want social workers to do real social work’: the councils cutting caseloads