The workforce priority is led by Merlin Joseph (ALDCS Policy Lead).

This group's key focus has been the social work workforce and addressing recruitment and retention, including understanding agency push and pull factors and addressing disproportionality.

Part of this work involved responding to the increasing pay rates in agency staf, as well as standardised levels of quality to improve services for children.

We therefore developed the London Pledge incorporting learnings from our neighbouring regions, which went live in June 2022.

The London Pledge is designed to:

  1. Enable LAs to control costs through shared commitment and established governance under children services control
  2. Ensure improved information sharing, speed and accountability through new governance and revised referencing
  3. Give us time to retain our existing workforce and develop our permanent offer
  • Developing our workforce strategy
    • We are currently developing our wider workforce strategy that seeks to develop a range of opportunities and products across recruitment, retention and career progression for social workers across London, working closely with our sector partners and national leads.
    • We have also created a multi-dsiciplined Workforce Steering Group to guide progress

  • Building on the success of the Leadership in Colour (LinC) programme addressing disproportionality and anti-racism in CS leadership, expanding the programme to make an even greater impact in 2022/23

London Pledge

32 London Boroughs have signed up to the London Pledge.

ALDCS’s workforce policy lead Merlin Joseph said the pledge “marks a significant boost to collaboration between the boroughs, which is key for stabilising the workforce and getting better outcomes for vulnerable children in our communities”.

“With the social work workforce under increasing pressure, boroughs recognise these are shared problems requiring shared solutions," she said. “Competition between councils does not serve the best interests of London’s social workers or the children and families we work with. A more collegiate approach will help bring greater stability and improved results for everyone.”

Read a recent Local Government Chronicle article investigating agency reliance.

Latest News

Rapid Review, Published January 2022

"The proportion of ethnic minority students on social work courses is high. However, they face barriers to engagement and satisfaction during their studies and placements and experience a lack of support in dealing with racism and discrimination. As a result, they may be less likely to enter or remain in the social worker workforce. In the workplace, ethnic minority social workers are overrepresented in both the child and adult social worker workforce in England. However, ethnic minority social workers are underrepresented in senior positions with perceptions of substantial barriers for career progression.

The findings in this review describe the experiences of social workers and social work students. However, they do not allow us to make claims about how representative the findings are of the views and experiences of all social work professionals and students in the UK from ethnic minority groups. In light of the findings, we suggest several avenues for future research, policy and practice."

Contact Details

LIIA Strategic Lead: Ben Byrne
LIIA Programme Lead: Matt Raleigh
LIIA Programme Manager: Rula Tripolitaki