Adults' Services Workforce

Adults' services time series 2011 to 2020

04 Nov 2021

Adults’ services account for over 70% of the Scottish social service workforce and are made up of the following sub-sectors.


adult day care

adult placement services

care homes for adults

fieldwork service (adults)

fieldwork service (generic)

fieldwork service (offenders)

housing support/care at home

nurse agencies

offender accommodation services.

These tables look at a time series from 2011 to 2020 of the adults' services workforce and show the change over time of the composition of adults’ services.

These tables also  include an overview of the headcount, numbers of services, median number of staff and employer type for all adults’ services’ sub-sectors.

Key points

  • The adults' services workforce headcount has increased by over 8000, a rise of  nearly 6% since 2011, whereas the overall number of services fell by 84 (over 2%).
  • The increase in headcount was not evenly spread across the sub-sectors but was mainly driven by increases to the housing support/care at home sub-sector, particularly the sole care at home sub type which saw an increase of over 12000 staff (158%). Some other sub sectors saw a drop in headcount.
  • Within care homes for adults there are now fewer services but with larger median staffing numbers than before (the exception is in blood borne services).
  • There was a fall of over 3,000 in the workforce employed in services jointly registered to provide both care at home and housing support, and a rise of 158% and 18% respectively within the sole care at home and sole housing support sub types.
  • Nurse agencies saw an increase in headcount of over 1200, a rise of 65% since 2011.  

The below tables also show median hours, age, gender, part time/full time and  job function for the workforce in care homes for adults and housing support/care at home services. These two sub-sectors are broken down into further sub-types.

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