In this summary report, the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) presents the findings of its 2021 annual survey providing an insight into the state of the profession, the views of social workers and student social workers on key topics and the ongoing impact of working during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond. The survey was launched in December 2021 as a place for social workers to reflect on their profession and their experiences in the preceding twelve months. Throughout the pandemic, social workers have demonstrated their resilience, their determination, their creativity and their on-going desire to help and support those with whom they work. Yet this comes with a price: respondents describe their workload as “impossible”, leaving them “utterly exhausted”, given the challenges the sector faces which have only been aggravated further by the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic on funding, on services and on wellbeing.
The findings offer a snapshot of how current and future members of the profession feel about core issues right now, including public perception of the profession, what they find most rewarding in their current role and workplace, the challenges facing the profession and their plans for the immediate future. Our ambition is to create an annual survey to allow us to monitor feeling on such issues over time, create high-level data that allows us to explore topics in greater depth in the future and use the findings to promote and support the profession to the public and to politicians and policymakers across the UK. This report is not, however, a policy statement.