Panel studies are an under-used resource in social work research. A mapping exercise was undertaken to establish the current coverage of social work and social care-related topics in UK panel studies. A search was conducted of the Survey Question Bank and the World Wide Web, which resulted in ten panel studies being retained for initial exploration. The aim of this initial exploration was simply to establish the number and proportion of social work service users in these studies, and the kinds of data available, in order to inform future research. The authors conclude that there is potential for some secondary analysis in seven of the ten panel studies and this analysis should be encouraged insofar as it could shed some interesting light on comparative outcomes and the demographic context of social work service users. However, the limited data related to social work in existing UK panel studies would suggest the need for a dedicated panel study of social work service users that provides detailed data on social work processes and outcomes.