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Sub-sectors


Adult social care

Adult social care is part of the sector represented by Skills for Care, which is one of the partners that comprise Skills for Care and Development Sector Skills Council.

There are an estimated 1.5 million workers providing adult social care services, accounting for 5% of England’s workforce, and more than 38,000 employers. Skills for Care is responsible for the training standards and development needs of social work and social care staff working with adults in England. This includes staff working in local authority social services and related services, the regulated sector (care homes, domiciliary care services and home nursing services), non-regulated day care and community care services, and employed by individuals for their own or another person’s care and support.

During 2007/08, approximately 2.3 million adults used publicly funded social work and social care services in the UK. Adult social care includes residential care, domiciliary care and social work with all its specialisms.

Social workers are responsible for helping older people to identify and find ways to meet their care and support needs, as well as supporting people with a disability/long term illness in the community. Social workers support and empower disadvantaged and vulnerable people, such as people with a mental health problem or substance mis-users. In Scotland and Northern Ireland, within and alongside the criminal justice system social workers also support people accused of a crime, victims of crime, witnesses and ex-offenders.

Public and private expenditure within the sector is significant at over £30 billion. UK public expenditure was more than £18 billion for adult social care services during 2007/08 and approximately £6 billion was spent upon services for adults with a disability.

Key statistics:

  • Of the 1.39 million in adult social care in England: 1.31 million are directly employed; and 78,000 are bank, pool and agency staff, students and others
  • The adult social care workforce can also include:
  • 25,460 full-time equivalent social workers
  • 7,500 Connexions Personal Advisers
  • 14,000 learning mentors
  • 2,247 educational psychologists
  • Of the 14,456 care-only homes registered with CSCI at June 2007:
  • 9,870 (68%) are private sector
  • 3,251 voluntary sector
  • most of the remaining are operated by councils
  • Most social care services (58%) are provided by micro organisations (or agencies) employing between 1-10 people or small enterprises (29%) employing between 11-49 people.
  • 12% of social care enterprises employ 50-99 people and 1% employ 200 or more.
  • In 2007, 54,151 individuals were receiving direct payments to fund their own care.

Jobs in adult social care include: administrative staff, ancillary staff, care workers, community support and outreach workers, counsellors, first-line managers, occupational therapists, registered managers, senior care workers, senior management, social workers, supervisors, technicians

Sources: Skills for Care and Development AACS LMI report 2010 and UK Sector Skills Assessment 2010

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Early years, children and young people’s services

Early years, children and young people’s services is supported the Children’s Workforce Development Council, which is one of the partners that comprise Skills for Care and Development Sector Skills Council. This includes those working in early years, children and young people’s services, and those working in social work and social care for children and adults in the UK. There is an estimated workforce of 2.7 million.

Early years, children and young people’s services provide publicly funded services accessed by between 1.5 and 2.5 million families per year, including early years education, childcare, children’s social care, family support, child protection, fostering and adoption services. There are more than 500,000 workers delivering these services in England, supported by the Children’s Workforce Development Council (CWDC).

Key statistics:

  • The children and young people’s social care workforce includes:
    • Over a quarter of a million people working within early years and childcare settings, with 165,200 employed in full day care and 58,300 workers in sessional day care
    • An estimated 111,484 nannies
    • An estimated 1,152 portage workers in England (who provide a home-visiting service for pre-school children who have developmental or learning difficulties, physical disabilities or other special needs)
    • About 1,985 in the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS)
    • An estimated 7,500 residential childcare workers in children’s homes and 2,100 in care homes for disabled children
    • 25,460 full-time equivalent social workers
    • Approximately 37,000 foster families in England
    • 7,500 Connexions Personal Advisers
    • Approximately 14,000 learning mentors
    • 2,247 educational psychologists
    • Between 3,000 and 5,000 education welfare officers in England
  • 65% of full day care provision is privately run, with 22% of settings run by a voluntary organisation.
  • The majority of sessional care settings are run by voluntary organisations or are privately run.

There is a varied list of jobs in children and young people’s social care:

  • Early years and childcare – nursery teachers, play/pre-school leaders, play assistances, nannies, home child carer, Head of Children Centre
  • Children and young people’s social care – children and family court advisory and support service officers, foster carers, residential childcare workers, children and family social workers
  • Learning, development and support services (LDSS) – Connexions Personal Advisers, learning mentors, educational psychologists, education welfare officers, behaviour and education support teams, family support workers

Sources: Skills for Care and Development AACS LMI report 2010

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