On 14 January Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Education gave a speech announcing significant reform to social work, primarily focussed on children’s services but also covering adult social care.
In a speech entitled ‘Delivering a revolution in children’s social care’, the Minister recognised the importance of social work
“Social workers are, indeed, our country’s unsung heroes. There can be no doubt that social work is one of the most demanding professions in the world”.
Her speech included announcement of:
- rolling out the programme of using the knowledge and skills statements (KSS) nationwide so that children’s social workers across the country, at every level, will be fully assessed and accredited by 2020.
- putting in place a system of assessment and accreditation for practice leaders as well as for front line practitioners and supervisors.
- Improving the quality of entrants to social work, including an extra 750 qualified social workers coming from fast-track programmes in the next year by investing a further £100 million into Frontline and into Step Up.
- extending the Teaching Partnerships scheme - building stronger links between universities and employers.
- in partnership with the Secretary of State for Health, setting up a new body charged with driving up standards in social work and raising the status of social workers, eventually taking over registration of social workers from HCPC. While the new body will initially support the accreditation and assessment of child and family social work, the intention is for the new body to provide independent validation of the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE) for social workers working with adults, which complements the accreditation approach for statutory child and family frontline practitioners. The new body will also deliver national accreditation of statutory functions in relation to Best Interests Assessor (BIA) and Approved Mental Health (AMHP) roles for social workers in adult social care.
- More innovation and support, including establishing an independent What Works Centre, with up to £20 million of additional funding, working alongside the new regulatory body and the Chief Social Worker for Children and Families.
Chief Social Worker for Adults, Lyn Romeo discusses the new social work body and what it will mean for adult social work in her blog, available at: http://bit.ly/1N9naZv
Details of the minister’s speech and press notice are available at: