The social work supply and demand model is one element of the SWRB's work to improve the confidence, effectiveness and status of the social work profession. The model will help us estimate the numbers of social workers needed in local areas. The reforms will need to work alongside other Social Work Task Force recommendations and the work of a new College of Social Work.

The model is a culmination of a year's work by the social work supply and demand group. A large number of stakeholders were on the group, and contributed to the development and testing of the model. The technical development of the model was undertaken by the Centre for Workforce Intelligence (CfWI) who have reported to the supply and demand group.

This is the first time a model of supply and demand has been developed for social workers.  The initial development covers social worker demand in the statutory sector. Further work will include the private, voluntary and independent sector.

Due to the nature of workforce planning, we expect that the model will need to be refined further. We expect the model to support decision-making of supply and demand of social workers on a local and national level, but it will not provide definitive numbers of under or over supply.

The model will be hosted by CfWI and rolled out from October 2011. Local partnerships, employers and HEIs can now think about identifying local representatives who may want to lead on the work, and attend workshops or specialist national training about how to use the model. Support will be provided on using the model on a local level.