SfC&D footprint - Our 'footprint' is the workforce we cover. SfC&D is the sector skills council (SSC) for people working in early years, children and young people's services, and those working in social work and social care for children and adults in the UK.

As a partnership of five organisations working across the UK in a devolved policy agenda, the remits of the partner organisations differs. This leads to a varying footprint definition across the UK. Please view the detailed SfC&D footprint definition (PDF).

Our sector provides services to more than 2.3 million adults and between 1.5 and 2.5 million families per year. SfC&D estimates that 70% of the UK population have been or are in contact with sector services, either provided directly to them or to a close family member. This includes a wide range of services ranging from personal care and help with living at home, to support for people with mental health needs, nursery places and childminding, child protection, help with adoption and fostering, and much more besides. At some point in their lives, most people will use a service provided by our sector.

Public and private expenditure upon these services is worth more than over £30 billion (bn) per year. UK public expenditure was worth more than £18bn for adult social care services during 2007-8 and approximately £6bn was spent upon services for adults with a disability. Many adult service users also contribute to or pay for services themselves (SfC&D estimates this may be worth in excess of a further £8bn). Children's social care expenditure in the UK is estimated as having been around £6.1bn in 2006-07. Public and private expenditure on early years' services exceeds £4bn each year.

SfC&D provides intelligence, briefings and market analysis for our sector to government, employers, workers, learning providers and a range of organisations with an interest in the challenges facing our sector.

Key facts and briefings

The sector employs just over 1.8 million people across the UK. The total number of workers within our footprint rose by around 2% in 2010 from just under 1.8 million in 2009 (to just over 1.8 million in 2010). The sector employs roughly 6% of the total UK workforce but around one in ten of all female workers.

There are more than 62,400 employers in the sector. Many are small and medium sized enterprises, more than 93% of sector businesses employ fewer than 50 workers. Almost half of the workforce (47%) is employed by private/ commercial organisations and less than a third work for the public sector (29%). More than 400,000 workers in our sector work for a charity or voluntary organisation (more than half of all such workers across the UK and 23% of the sector workforce).

SfC&D provides briefings and essential information about our sector to policy makers, commissioners of services, businesses, job seekers, the media and general public.