Implications of labour markets for the social care workforce: report

Independent research on the influence of national and local labour markets on the social care sector.

Appendix A: Clarifications of Social Care Services in Scotland

As defined in the Public Sector Reform (Scotland) Act 2010[159], the ‘social service’ sector is a combination of two sub-groups:

  • Care services - which covers all registered care services; and
  • Social work services - which is all local authority social work services.

The wider social service workforce includes all those in paid employment in the social service sector, including people working for the public sector providers (for example local authorities), independent sector care providers and third sector care providers. It also includes those employed as PAs under Self-Directed Support. Table A.1 provides more detail on each of these service types. Please note that social work has been excluded from this research study.

Table A.1: Sub-sectors of the social service workforce in Scotland
Sub-sector[160] Description
Adoption service A service that makes arrangements in connection with the adoption of children. This does not include services in which the proposed adopter is a relative of the child.
Adult day care Day care services for adults can be provided from registered premises in a variety of settings.
Adult placement service Adult placement services provide or arrange accommodation for vulnerable adults, aged 18 or over, in the homes of families or individuals. This can be together with personal care, personal support, counselling or other help provided other than as part of a planned programme of care.
Care at home A service which delivers assessed and planned personal care and support which enables the person to stay in their own home.
Care homes for adults Care homes for adults provide care for a range of people and people with particular types of problems; alcohol and drug misuse; learning disabilities; mental health problems; older people; physical and sensory impairment; or respite care and short breaks.
Central and strategic staff Staff within local authority social work services with a strategic and/or central role including senior management, administrators and support staff.
Childcare agency Childcare agencies supply or introduce to parents a child carer who looks after a child or young person, up to the age of 16, wholly or mainly in the home of that child's parent or parents. They could include for example: nanny agencies, home-based childcare services or sitter services.
Childminders A childminder is a person that looks after at least one child, up to the age of 16 years, for more than a total of two hours per day. The childminder looks after the child on domestic premises for reward but not in the home of the child‘s parent or parents. A parent, relative or foster carer of a child cannot be regarded as that child’s childminder.
Daycare of children A service which provides care for children on non-domestic premises for a total of more than two hours per day and on at least six days per year. It includes nursery classes, crèches, after school clubs and play groups. The definition does not include services which are part of school activities or activities where care is not provided such as sports clubs or uniformed activities such as the Scouts or Guides.
LA fieldwork service (adults) Local authority fieldwork staff usually based in local offices providing services to adults. Staff will include qualified social workers.
LA fieldwork service (children) Local authority fieldwork staff usually based in local offices providing services to children and families. Staff will include qualified social workers.
LA fieldwork service (generic) Local authority fieldwork staff in divisional and area offices. Local authority fieldwork staff usually based in local offices providing services to a range of people. Staff will include qualified social workers.
LA fieldwork service (offenders) Local authority fieldwork staff in divisional and area offices. Local authority fieldwork staff usually based in local offices providing services to the courts and prisons in relation to people who have been convicted of criminal offences. Staff will include qualified social workers.
Fostering service Fostering agencies may provide substitute care where a child's family is unable to provide care. They may provide complementary care to provide additional opportunities for a child or to give parents a break. These carers are sometimes called respite or family placement carers. The term foster care is used to describe all these situations.
Housing support A service which provides support, assistance, advice or counselling to enable an individual to maintain their tenancy. Housing support may be provided to people living in ordinary homes, sheltered housing, hostels for the homeless, accommodation for the learning disabled, women’s refuges or shared dwellings.
Nurse agency Nurse agencies introduce and supply registered nurses to independent and voluntary sector healthcare providers and to the NHS in Scotland.
Offender accommodation service A service which provides advice, guidance or assistance to people such as ex-offenders, people on probation or those released from prison that have been provided accommodation by a local authority.
Residential childcare These services are care homes, special school accommodation services and secure accommodation services for children who are looked after away from home.
School care accommodation This includes boarding schools and school hostels but does not include services for children looked after away from home.

Clarification between Daycare of Children Services and Early Learning and Childcare

The SSSC usually differentiate between social work (as defined by the Public Sector Reform (Scotland) Act 2010), social care and ELC (covering daycare of children (DCC) and childminders).

Social care services therefore can include:

  • Adult social care;
  • Children’s social care; and
  • ELC.

Children’s and Adult Social Care Services

Table A.2 sets out the definition of ‘Children’s social care services’ and ‘Adult social care services’ used in our report, based on the social care sub-sectors described above. ELC (as defined in Table A.3 has also been excluded, as it is covered in a separate report.

Table A.2: Clarification of children’s and adult social care services
Type of service Categories
Children's services Adoption service
Fieldwork services (children)
Fostering service
Residential childcare
Adult services Adult day care
Adult placement services
Care homes for adults
Fieldwork services (adults)
Fieldwork services (offenders)
Housing support/care at home
Nurse agencies
Offender accommodation services
Table A.3: Clarification of ELC
Type of service Categories
ELC Childminding
Daycare of children (DCC)

Clarification of Sector Types

The SSSC identifies that the social service workforce includes people working for:

  • public sector providers (for example local authorities);
  • private care providers; and
  • voluntary sector care providers.

To reflect these categories, the ekosgen survey asked employers and employees to identify as either ‘public’, ‘private’ or ‘voluntary’ sector. However, these are referred to throughout our report as ‘public’, ‘independent’ and ‘third’ sector in line with the definitions used in Part Two of the National Health and Social Care Workforce Plan.



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