Dozens of Oldham's children's social workers left their jobs last year, figures show.

Due to unmanageable caseloads and deteriorating working conditions, thousands of child and family social workers across England are quitting their jobs, according to the British Association of Social Workers (BASW).

Now, data from the Department for Education has shown 30 full-time employees left their jobs in the year to September in Oldham.

Of those who left last year, 22 had been in their job for fewer than five years, and 12 for under two years.

The 30 who left last year are part of the 131 to have left their roles since 2017 and give Oldham a higher than average turnover rate for social workers.

Throughout England, the total number of social workers rose by two per cent to 32,500 in the year to September.

However, 5,000 social workers assigned to support children and families left during the same period, the highest number in five years and a rise of 16 per cent from the previous year.

Of those 5,000, over two thirds had been in their roles for less than five years.

Anthony Dhadwal, senior press officer for the BASW, said children's social workers were leaving due to a lack of support and warned of what could happen if people continued to leave.

He said: “Time and time again the reasons our members have given have remained consistent – unmanageable caseloads, deteriorating working conditions and a lack of resources to help families.

"Without a fully staffed and resourced workforce, we risk social workers not being able to meet their obligations as individuals, and teams will be overstretched."

There were more than 6,500 vacancies as of last September, with 70 advertised in Oldham, an increase of 38 from September 2020.

Oldham's turn-over rate of 16.8 per cent was an increase from 16 per cent the year before and was higher than the national average of 15.4 per cent.

The national average was the highest recorded since 2017.

Cllr Eddie Moores, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “Naturally, over time, some of our children’s social workers have decided to move onto new employment opportunities.

"We are totally focussed on the recruitment and retention of our workforce and are working hard to ensure that social workers have all of the support they need. 

"We have invested heavily in a bespoke workspace providing our social workers with a brand-new, dedicated environment to meet their needs.

"There has never been a greater focus on Children’s Services in Oldham than right now, and we want to champion the needs of children and young people in Oldham and put them at the heart of everything we do."

A DfE spokeswoman said there were more social workers in the profession than ever and said the Government helped local authorities retain and recruit social workers by funding fast track training and professional support.

She said councils had access to mental health services to help social workers remain resilient and stay in the profession, with peer-to-peer support available.

She added: “We recognise the pressure on children’s services, which is why we are providing councils with £4.8 billion in new grant funding to help maintain vital frontline services, including children’s social care.”