From education to employment

Children’s social work workforce census: guide to submitting data

The children’s social work workforce census is an annual statutory census for all local authorities. You must complete statutory censuses by law unless there’s a good reason not to.

The census covers the year from 1 October to 30 September.

It collects data on all children and family social worker staff employed during the census year. This includes staff:

who were employed on or before 30 September
who left employment during the census year
who were employed through an agency on or before 30 September

Local authorities should issue privacy notices to all members of staff. Privacy notices tell staff members about the details of the census and their rights under the Data Protection Act.

2021 to 2022 census dates:

the census opens on Monday 3 October 2022
return census submissions by Monday 31 October 2022
the database closure date is Wednesday 30 November 2022

Submit your data

You’ll need to:

register and log in with DfE Sign-in

use COLLECT to submit your data

Please contact your school or local authority approver, if:

you want to request a DfE Sign-in username or password so you can access COLLECT
‘children’s social work workforce census’ is not on the list of collections you can see in COLLECT

Get help using DfE Sign-in

If you do not know who your approver is, please use the DfE Sign-in request form.

If you’ve forgotten your password, use DfE Sign-in to reset it. You will need to click ‘Start now’ and then the ‘I’ve forgotten my password’ link.

Note that we’ll only be able to change the status of your data submission to ‘authorised’ once you’ve cleared all errors in the data in COLLECT.

Census documents

The following guidance documents will help you complete the 2021 to 2022 census:

If you need help

Submitting data

For complex questions, please use the service request form. We aim to answer your question within 5 working days.


Please use the feedback form if you have any comments about our data collection service, including COLLECT and the service desk.

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