Adult social care is an essential public service and a growing part of our economy. However, the social care system in England faces a workforce crisis which is set to grow in the coming years; by 2028, we estimate there will be a shortage of over 400,000 workers in social care.

If we are to solve the workforce crisis, we need to deliver a sustainable long-term funding settlement for social care and a transformation of the social care workforce model. This should be based on the establishment of decent pay and terms and conditions through sectoral collective bargaining, and a professionalisation of the social care workforce.

In this report, we examine the challenges facing the social care workforce in England, and the evidence of the growing social care workforce crisis. We show that the poor conditions of the workforce is not just bad for workers; it is bad for quality of care too, and it is undermining the very sustainability of the system. We identify the root causes of the care workforce crisis, and then set out a workforce strategy to tackle the care workforce crisis, and to ensure that we are able to provide high-quality care for those who need it and high-quality work for those who provide it.