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The View from Here : People's experiences of working in social services: A qualitative analysis

Cunningham, Ian and Roy, Chandrima and Lindsay, Colin (2015) The View from Here : People's experiences of working in social services: A qualitative analysis. [Report]

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Abstract

This research comes at an extremely challenging time for the care sector and its workforce in Scotland and the wider UK. There continue to be concerns regarding the future of job quality in social care across private, public and non-profit sector providers during an era of austerity in public expenditure. As the employment offer in social care becomes more precarious and services are subjected to continuing cuts there are emerging concerns relating to the extent to which worker morale can be maintained. Pay in social care has been squeezed more than other low paying sectors during the recent recession. In addition, there are worries that levels of training, supervision are not being sustained. This is at a time when the sector needs to develop the workforce needed to take on ever more challenging and complex client groups requiring more personalised services. In addition, workers face demands to cooperate across professional boundaries with health practitioners. Poor pay and conditions further occur alongside greater insecurity in employment terms and conditions through the growth of zero hour contracts among workers in the sector. A series of factors are also leading to work intensification potentially undermining work – life balance among care workers. These include emerging recruitment and retention problems, cuts in services and staff numbers, continual demands for providers and workers to do more with less is further.