Department for Education
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Government publishes Social Work Task Force Interim Report
- Driving forward change for social workers -
The Government has today published a report setting out the interim findings and recommendations of the Social Work Taskforce.
The Taskforce, chaired by Moira Gibb, has been working with frontline social workers, social work leaders, families and academics to support and develop the long-term reform of the social work profession, including training, recruitment and day-to-day practice.
Chair of the Social Work Task Force, Moira Gibb said:
“This report is a very important milestone for the Task Force. It sets out in one place our analysis of the current state of social work and the things that need to change; from training to recruitment, and from leadership to the tools to do the job day-to-day. We have identified the building blocks of the reform proposals we will be putting to Government later this year. This is a fantastic opportunity to put social work on a new footing for the long term. The country needs a more confident, more effective and more respected social work profession.”
Recommendations from the report include:
• The creation of a national college for social work
• Greater partnership between employers and educators for the improvement of social work education
• Clearer career and progression structure
• A much more sophisticated understanding of supply and demand
• Securing the resources social workers need to be effective
Earlier this month, Moira Gibb raised the issue of a national college of social workers, which is echoed again in today’s report. Ministers welcome this idea and the Social Work Task Force will now bring forward the recommendations for the college, which will have a key role in driving learning and best practice in social work and will provide a strong voice which speaks to the media about the profession.
The Government has also launched a new peer support programme for middle managers of social care functions in local authorities. The programme will help managers to explore and tackle the challenges of leading and managing workforce change to improve services and outcomes.
This work builds on the Government’s response to Lord Laming’s recent progress report on the protection of children in England. Previous steps announced in May include a £58 million plan to transform the recruitment, retention and development of the social work profession.
Children’s Minister Delyth Morgan said:
“I am pleased that this report shows that the Government is moving in the right direction for social workers. From meetings with social workers and from today’s report it is clear to see that the profession is facing a particularly tough time at the moment and we are committed to ensuring they have the support and training they need for them to carry out their work effectively.
“One of the more frequently voiced concerns from the workforce, something which is echoed in today’s report, is the need for a voice for social workers. As suggested by the task force a national college could provide just that, as well as offering professionals further support and a sense of belonging, similar to how the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health provides support for paediatricians.”
Care Services Minister Phil Hope said:
“Too often the invaluable and essential work that social workers do to support adults and families goes unrecognised. It is paramount that we help them deliver consistent high quality services but equally we need to give them a voice to champion the important work they do.”
This press notice relates to 'England'
1. The Social Work Task Force was announced as part of the Government’s 2020 Children and Young People’s Workforce Strategy announced in December 2008: http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/pns/DisplayPN.cgi?pn_id=2009_0017
2. For the full report from the Task Force, please see: http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/swtf
3. The £58million Social Work Transformation package announced in May for children’s social work includes:
• sponsoring 200 university places from September
• starting a new recruitment campaign specifically targeting social workers who may have left the profession to give the current workforce a boost
• rolling out the successful Newly Qualified Social Workers (NQSW) pilots to all new children and families' social workers joining statutory and voluntary services from this September
• funding a practice-based Masters in social work to start in early 2011 so that all social workers can continue to develop further their knowledge, skills and expertise
• introducing a new Advanced Social Work Professional Status programme to create senior practice-focused roles to keep excellent and experienced social workers in children’s services
• coaching and development for frontline social worker managers to boost leadership and management skills.
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