Spending on children’s social care in England has increased since 2009/10, but so has demand. Service quality, at least in child protection, has declined but only slightly. This suggests that children’s social care has become more efficient.
Local authorities appear to have achieved that mainly by increasing productivity – asking social workers to do more. However, the increasing number of vacancies for social workers and high turnover rate mean that continuing to make staff do more risks damaging the quality of the service.