This standard is about ensuring employees do not experience excessive workloads, resulting in unallocated cases and long waiting times for individuals.
All employers should
- use a system which has been agreed jointly with social work practitioners and line managers to set transparent safe working levels in each service area and enhances more direct relationship-based practice
- ensure each social worker’s workload is regularly assessed, with the social worker, to take account of work complexity, individual worker capacity and time needed for supervision and CPD
- ensure that cases are allocated transparently, with prior discussion with the individual social worker, and with due consideration to experience and existing caseloads
- ensure that a social worker’s professional judgment about workload capacity issues is respected in line with the requirements of their professional registration (Social Work England professional standards) which refer to the requirement for a social worker to declare to the appropriate authority anything that might affect their ability to carry out their role competently or may affect their fitness to practise
- take contingency action when workload demand exceeds staffing capacity and report regularly to strategic leaders about workload and capacity issues within services
- publish information about average caseloads for social workers within the organisation as part of the SW health check.