Fears a child could die because of "unbearable pressure" on Welsh social workers

Welsh social worker says system is"unsafe" Credit: ITV Wales

A Welsh social worker has spoken to ITV Wales about his concerns for the future of the profession and safety of children.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, he says he knows colleagues on anti-depressants, feeling bullied and high case loads.

It comes as we've learnt that most Welsh councils have vacancies and many are using agency workers to fill the gaps.

  • Watch the report from ITV Wales' Health & Social Affairs Correspondent Rob Osborne below:

He lists complaints he says are common around Wales and are contributing to fewer people wanting to become a full-time social worker.

They include:

  • High case loads

  • Long hours

  • Stress

  • Pay

  • Retention of experienced workers

The social worker uses the word "unsafe" to describe the system and pressures colleagues face.

His biggest fear is that a child is seriously harmed or dies and points to the cases of Baby P and Victoria Climbié.

The Children's Commissioner has concerns Credit: ITV Wales

The Children's Commissioner Keith Towler says he hasn't heard of a Social Services department where the current levels of vacancies are high enough to warrant it being unsafe but he does believe there are areas to be concerned about.

The Welsh Government says work has been done to increase the level of social workers and to learn from the best, but it acknowledges demands are increasing