The organisation representing social workers in the UK has said it is concerned by figures obtained by ITV News Tyne Tees, which show "a huge variation" in the number of cases social workers in our region are having to deal with.
A current social worker in the North East has also told us he feels the pressures on the system here are making it "unsafe" for social workers, and the vulnerable children and adults they are trying to protect - while a council leader has warned that cuts to local authority funding will make it "virtually impossible" to meet demand.
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We have obtained figures from all of the councils in our region, via Freedom of Information requests.
They show that average caseloads being dealt with by children's social workers range from 14.6 in Darlington to 25 in Stockton-on-Tees, which is significantly above the recommended level.
The highest number of cases being juggled by any individual children's social worker is 45, in North Tyneside.
Average caseloads for adult social workers range between 14 in Middlesbrough, to 75 in Stockton-on-Tees, while one social worker in North Yorkshire is juggling 99 cases.
Reacting to the figures obtained by ITV News Tyne Tees, Ruth Allen - Chief Executive of the British Association of Social Workers - says she is "concerned" by the "huge variation" in caseloads between different local authorities.
We spoke to an experienced children's social worker, currently working in the North East, who wished to remain anonymous.
Charity The Junction Foundation works with young people on Teesside. Its chief executive says they are increasingly having to plug gaps left by social services, when it comes to helping vulnerable youngsters.
We contacted a number of local authorities for clarification of their caseload figures.
The only council willing to do an interview was Newcastle City Council.
The government has responded, saying it has provided funding and is devolving powers to local authorities in the North East, to support vulnerable people.
Yesterday, we featured an exclusive interview with the mother of a teenage girl who killed Angela Wrightson in Hartlepool, who claimed social services failed to act, and could have prevented the murder.
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