More than half of social workers in the UK are considering leaving the profession in the next 18 months, a new survey has revealed.
The research, conducted for the Social Workers Union (SWU) and the British Association of Social Workers (BASW), found social workers are working more than £644,000 worth of unpaid overtime every year.
This equates to 480 hours or 64 days per person, every year.
As a result, over 50% of social workers are considering leaving the profession due to the stress of too many demands on their time.
Dr Jermaine Ravalier from Bath Spa University, said: ‘Deep budget cuts are forcing social workers to take on more cases than ever, putting them under pressure to deliver a service to people that are often vulnerable with fewer resources. In order to keep up, they are simply giving away days of their personal time.
‘If this keeps up, and the social workers we spoke with do leave the profession, local authorities will be forced to pay for contract workers who are expensive, transient, and certainly won’t be working lots of free hours.’