A senior politician has stressed that Bradford Council’s frontline social worker teams have not suffered from cuts, as the Telegraph & Argus exclusively revealed 81 employees from that department have left in the last two years.

The T&A found 81 staff with “social worker” in their post title have left, including 62 who resigned, five who retired, two who were dismissed, seven whose contract ended and five who were made redundant.

The Council currently employs 440 employees with “social worker” in their post title, not including trainees and assistants.

There is currently an external recruitment freeze in some parts of the Council, but Councillor Ralph Berry, the executive member of children’s services, said that did not apply to social workers.

He conceded the job was a tough one, but said he did not believe people had left because of workloads after the Baby P case, or because of the volume of work in fostering and adoption.

The Council currently has around 890 “looked after children” in its care, including more than 600 being fostered.

“We have reduced some management levels, but have not reduced frontline social work teams,” Coun Berry said. “This is about people moving on with their careers. Ofsted gave us good with outstanding for our leadership and safeguarding.

“I would want to know what these people are saying in their exit interviews. We would not get good to outstanding from Ofsted if there was a problem with our social workers.”

Julie Jenkins, Bradford Council’s Assistant Director (Children's Specialist Services) and Janice Simpson, Interim Strategic Director (Adult Services), said: “All our social workers were employed by the Council. We didn't employ any social workers through an agency and have only started to do so very recently in children’s services as it is important that frontline work is protected.

“Even though the local authority has had to make savings, the work with vulnerable children and adults is seen as a top priority.”