Child and Family Social Workers: Agency Rules Statutory Guidance

Closed 28 Feb 2024

Opened 31 Jan 2024


We are seeking views on the draft statutory guidance for local authorities on the use of agency child and family social workers.

Why your views matter

The independent review of children’s social care, published in May 2022, described the case to reduce overreliance on agency social workers in order to provide more stable relationships for children and families and reduce costs.

The Department for Education previously consulted on national rules on local authority use of agency child and family social workers. The government’s response to that consultation, published in October 2023, set out the agency rules and confirmed our commitment to introducing statutory guidance.

This new consultation invites views on the on the technical detail of the agency rules that will become statutory guidance for local authorities.


  • Bodies representing schools and local authorities
  • Employers
  • Social workers
  • Unions and representative organisations
  • Social workers
  • Team managers
  • Service managers
  • Principle social workers
  • Directors of children's services


  • Social care standards and guidance
  • Social workers' standards