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Social Workers

Volume 486: debated on Monday 12 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of social workers working with local authorities but employed by an agency; and if he will make a statement. (245568)

The number of agency staff working in social services departments by local authority is not held centrally. The Local Government Association estimated in 2006 that the average percentage of agency staff working in posts for adults within local authority social services departments in England was 5.2 per cent. This was estimated to equate to around 8,800 agency staff covering a range of roles including field social workers but also residential care workers and administrative staff.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much has been spent by each local authority on employing social workers via agencies in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. (245569)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance his Department has issued to local authorities on the employment of social workers via agencies; and if he will make a statement. (245570)

The General Social Care Council has issued statutory codes of practice for social care workers and their employers under section 62 of the Care Standards Act 2000. They provide a clear guide for all those who work in social care, setting out the standards of conduct workers and their employers should meet. They also mean that people who use services, carers and the wider public will know what standard of conduct and practice they can expect.