A Twitter poll carried out by the What Works Centre, has revealed that 64% of social workers do not believe their practice is always based on credible data or evidence. The survey also confirmed that over a third of social workers who took the survey believe that none of their practice is based on sound information. The poll was posted on August 27th, and was taken by 518 social workers.

The Twitter poll, which allowed social workers to respond anonymously, asked the following question:

As a Children’s Social Worker, are the processes and practices being used in your local area based on credible and robust data, evidence or research?

A selection of answers were offered inside the poll by the WWC:

  1. Yes, all are.
  2. Yes, but only some.
  3. No, none are.
  4. Not sure.

Only 9% of those that took the poll selected the first option, with 33% selecting ‘yes, but only some’. 31% answered, ‘no, none are’, with the remaining 27% of pollers saying they were not sure. The combined total of answers 2 and 3, indicates that the majority of social workers who took the poll (64%) do not believe their practice is always based on sound information.

The What Works Centre is part of Nesta, which has been chosen to help set up Social Work England, the body replacing the HCPC. The WWC is currently looking at innovative ways to improve the social work sector. The WWC’s founding members include Isabelle Trowler, Chief Social Worker for England (Children & Families), who is at the Department for Education.

The survey’s results suggest that social workers around the country are acutely aware of the problems inside the child protection sector, but may be too afraid to speak out in case their positions are compromised at work. The anonymous nature of surveys like Twitter polls may be allowing concerned practitioners to voice their observations without being targeted.

You can follow the WWC on Twitter at @whatworksCSC.