Skills For Care Welcome Review Of The ‘Status Of Social Care’

Views expressed by eminent social care leader, Dame Denise Platt, in her national review of the Status of Social Care services have been warmly received by Skills for Care, the national workforce development organisation for people working in adult social care.

The review, which was published by Dame Denise Platt in her personal capacity and at the request of the Minister for Social Care, Ivan Lewis was praised by the Minister at this week’s inaugural seminar of the newly formed Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS).

Andrea Rowe, Chief Executive Officer of Skills for Care says that she is “extremely pleased” with some of the main findings, particularly those relating to Dame Platt’s strong suggestion that consideration should be given to ” making a further push to raise the basic qualifications in the workforce.”

Andrea Rowe commented: “Dame Platt has in one sense validated what Skills for Care has been saying for a long time, that a major and concerted effort is needed to raise the basic qualification levels relating to the social care workforce. Skills for Care has put a great deal of emphasis on Training Strategy Implementation (TSI) outcomes, and has requested for 2008/9 increased TSI funding for NVQ Levels 3 and 4, particularly leadership and management qualifications.

“Indeed, we have asked the Department of Health to double our TSI funding from £16m to £30m within the CSR settlement because we feel that it is vital that increased resources are available to employers in order to secure the objective of highly skilled and responsive workforce. The task ahead is to meet the demands of a mushrooming elderly, and frail population, and of course, the increasing numbers of people living lives longer with long term illnesses, learning and physical disabilities.”

Andrea Rowe said that she is “delighted” with Dame Platt’s recommendation, endorsed by Ivan Lewis who called it “Care 21”, that Skills for Care should set up a high level steering group in the bid to get a Care Skills Academy off the ground as soon as possible. The organisation would work jointly with the Social Care Institute for Excellence and include other main stakeholders in its development.

She pointed out: “At our recent national conference, partnership was top of the agenda, and this recommendation is exactly in the spirit to which we are aspiring.”

The national Skills for Care Accolades, which are a celebration of excellence in workforce development within the social care sector, are referred to in the review and a recommendation is made that the event should be promoted “externally and beyond the sector as part of a media strategy to raise the status of the workforce in terms of the public.”  

Andrea Rowe stressed: “We will be looking very carefully at this and all of the recommendations that are in the review and taking them on board.”