The care workforce is an integral component in enabling pathways to sustainable arrangements in care capable of withstanding new shocks and addressing longstanding challenges, including ‘decent work’ for care workers. We focus on the workforce that delivers adult and children’s social care across different settings and arrangements. The workforce is embedded within an evolving provider and commissioning arrangements and impacted by wider and system developments and shocks expected. The evolving care structures, markets and individual preferences will drive workforce change in the coming decades and we want to understand the dynamics and outcomes of different pathways to change. Our work realises that change always happens in response to endogenous evolvement of the care ecosystems and its individual components, sometimes in a paced and somewhat predictable manner, yet change can be sudden and unplanned in response to system shocks and unexpected exogenous factors. For example, we want to understand to what extent recent system shocks have accelerated the uptake of innovations in the delivery of care and what are the impact of these on different groups of workers’ jobs, wellbeing and their ability to provide quality care to diverse service user populations.
Our research focuses on understanding the drivers, nature and implications of care workforce change where paid work of care connects to, and is shaped by, other elements of the care ecosystem. We organise our investigations at the macro (systems and national policies), meso (care delivery and provision) and micro (individual and groups of workers) levels. Specific projects will be designed in partnership with relevant stakeholders, groups and individuals through ongoing dialogues and mapping of priorities. Issues of diversity and inequalities across the life-course of workers and those receiving care are at the heart of our research methodological and conceptual design. The Workforce Change Research group has the following five broad research questions:
- What are the main drivers for workforce change, both paced and sudden?
- How is the workforce changing in response to different drivers?
- How does the care workforce drive and respond to change?
- What are the current workforce innovations in delivering care?
- How do care providers/employers drive and respond to workforce change?
Commentary on Care Workforce Change
Commentary pieces relating to Care Workforce Change
Charlotte Ashworth writes about carrying out practitioner research in her own organisation.Read More about Navigating practitioner-academic research in Local Authorities
Dr Erika Kispeter revisits a report by the House of Lords Adult Social Care Committee, entitled ‘A “gloriously ordinary life’’: spotlight on adult social care’, published in December 2022, to explore what could be missing.Read More about Reflections on the visibility of the social care workforce
This episode is a reflection, in Baroness Andrews’ own words, on the recent report published by the House of Lords Adult Social Care Committee, ‘A “gloriously ordinary life’’: spotlight on adult social care’. The report included evidence submitted by colleagues at the Centre for Care.Read More about Podcast- Reflections on ’A gloriously ordinary life’: In conversation with Baroness Andrews
Rachael Black draws together the discussions from the Future of Care North conference centring on the care workforce, including the changing nature of the role and the potential opportunities this could bring when encouraging people to join and remain in the sector.Read More about The Future of Care Work?
A selection of recent publications from the Care Workforce Change team.
The Care Workforce Change team is led by Professor Shereen Hussein at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.