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Social care workforce survey 2023

An overview of the findings of our survey of the registered workforce.

We carried out a survey of the registered workforce between March and May 2023.

We worked with a company called Opinion Research Services (ORS) to pilot the survey, which asked questions about things like health and well-being, pay and conditions and what people like about working in the sector.

More than 3,000 of you (six per cent of the registered workforce) responded, from a wide range of roles. We weighted the results to see what they could tell us about the views of the entire registered social care workforce in Wales.

The results were also split into three groups based on roles – care workers, social workers and social care managers.

Here, we provide a summary of the main overall findings, as well as some for each of the three groups.

Overall findings

  • 63 per cent started working in social care because they wanted to make a difference to people’s lives.
  • Most people feel supported by their colleagues (78 per cent) and their manager (66 per cent).
  • Most people feel they get the right training to do their job well (79 per cent) and think there are training opportunities available to them (75 per cent).
  • Half (50 per cent) of all registered people who aren’t already in a leadership position believe it’d be possible for them to be a leader. This is higher than the proportion who said they'd like to be in a leadership position at some point in the future (36 per cent).
  • More than half agree that leaders in social care come from different backgrounds (53 per cent).
  • Forty-five per cent have some Welsh language ability.
  • While most feel valued by the people they support (76 per cent), fewer than half feel valued by the general public (44 per cent) and partner agencies like health staff and police (48 per cent).
  • Thirty-three per cent of registered people are finding it 'quite' or 'very' difficult to manage financially, while 82 per cent are finding it 'slightly' or 'a lot' more difficult to manage financially than a year ago.
  • Just over a quarter (26 per cent) feel it’s ‘quite’ or ‘very’ likely that they’ll leave the social care sector in the next 12 months, and 44 per cent feel at least ‘quite likely’ to leave in the next five years.
  • The most common reasons given for expecting to leave in the next 12 months are pay (66 per cent), feeling overworked (54 per cent) and poor employment or working conditions (40 per cent).
  • Those in senior or managerial roles say availability of staff (72 per cent) and quality of candidates applying (72 per cent) are the biggest reported challenges in recruitment.

The survey also found that 37 per cent had experienced bullying, discrimination or harassment at work. We’re working to find out more about the nature of these experiences and how we and our partners can best provide support.

Care workers

  • Most (66 per cent) say their job gives them a feeling of work well done.
  • Eight per cent of care workers aren’t sure where to find information about health and well-being at work.
  • Only half receive sick pay, and only 41 per cent have access to family-friendly policies like flexible working, carer’s leave and enhanced parental leave.
  • Most (61 per cent) are dissatisfied with their pay, and 37 per cent are finding it at least quite difficult to manage financially, and more difficult than a year ago (81 per cent said this).

Social workers

  • Three quarters (76 per cent) started working in social care because they wanted to make a difference to people’s lives.
  • Thirty-eight per cent of social workers are dissatisfied with their present job.
  • A third (34 per cent) think the right staff are in place to deliver services.
  • Seventy-seven per cent of social workers say that having too much work or not having enough time to do it causes stress at work.
  • Twenty-four per cent of social workers don't feel safe at work.
  • Forty per cent think there are barriers to accessing training at work.

Social care managers

  • Among social care managers, 68 per cent are satisfied with their current job.
  • Around half (49 per cent) work 40 or more hours a week.
  • More than three quarters (77 per cent) find it hard to switch off when they leave work.
  • Most think better pay (78 per cent) and making people feel valued and appreciated (27 per cent) are key to making the sector a more attractive place to work.

Read the full report

ORS produced a report on the survey's findings. You can download a copy of the full report here.

First published: 3 October 2023
Last updated: 20 March 2024
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