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The SSSC has published the Children’s Services Workforce 2017 report, taking a detailed look at the children’s social services workforce.

The data in the report supplements the information published in the SSSC’s Scottish Social Service Sector: Report on 2017 Workforce Data. It is our second such report and we plan to continue publishing it annually.

Welcoming the report SSSC Chief Executive Lorraine Gray said:

‘Our workforce data is important to help the sector understand the make-up of the workforce as they plan for future demand for social services.

‘This is particularly important in early learning and childcare, 77% of all staff working in day care of children services, ahead of the Scottish Government’s pledge to provide 1,140 free hours for three and four-year-olds from 2020.’

Key points

  • The size of the workforce in children’s services has increased to 55,840, a rise of 480 since 2016.
  • This is 28% of the Scottish social service workforce as a whole.
  • 41% of the children’s services workforce work in the public sector, followed by 38% private and 21% voluntary. However, different sub-sectors have different profiles.
  • The largest sub-sector is day care of children with a workforce of 34,020. Of these, 26,300 staff (77%) work in services that provide ELC funded childcare places.
  • Residential child care and school care accommodation have a higher proportion of men in their workforces than the social service workforce as a whole. The school hostel part of school care accommodation is an exception, which has the same proportion.
  • As well as looking at children’s services as a whole, the report looks more closely at the sub-sectors: day care of children, residential child care and school care accommodation. It also looks in detail at early learning and childcare, which is a subset of day care of children services.

How our workforce intelligence helps

We’ve been working closely with Scottish Government to develop the social service workforce planning scenarios in relation to social workers and child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) to inform improvement. From our workforce intelligence we know these are areas where there are recruitment and supply issues for employers.

We’re also working with the Scottish Government workforce planning team to develop workforce planning guidance and tools to support employers. These tools will provide consistency in the use of SSSC workforce intelligence.

Under the social services recommendations of the National Workforce Plan we are leading work to develop social work and social care qualifications frameworks and career pathways. We will publish these at the end of March and our data will be central to the development of the frameworks.

The Independent Care Review (workforce group) is considering the qualifications that will be required of the residential childcare workforce. This data also supports this work.

This report

The Children’s Services Workforce 2017 combines administrative data from the Care Inspectorate with data collected by the SSSC directly from local authorities to form a comprehensive picture of the paid workforce employed in the adults’ services sector in Scotland at the end of 2017. The SSSC is an official statistics provider.

Download the full Children’s Services Workforce 2017 report on our data website.