Social Workers ‘Ideally Fitted’ To Making Personalised Services A Reality, GSCC Tells Government

Social workers are ideally placed to offer the support, brokerage and advocacy roles which will come about as part of the move towards greater choice and control for service users, whilst continuing their vital role in safeguarding those who are vulnerable, the General Social Care Council (GSCC) said today.

The comments were made to the Department of Health as part of the GSCC’s response to the paper ‘Putting people first – working to make it happen’ which sets out the workforce issues related to the development of personalised social care services.

The GSCC said that while social workers were enthusiastic about the personalisation drive there was understandable concern about how the processes and systems can be changed to ensure that the aim can be made a reality. A strengthened post-registration, training and learning system would be a key way to support social workers to do this.

Mike Wardle, Chief Executive of the GSCC, said: “The social worker role will become even more crucial in the light of personalisation, providing advocacy so that people with personalised budgets feel encouraged and enabled to improve their lives.

It is hard to see how the government’s aim of putting people first can be achieved without the skills and expertise of social workers playing a big part in supporting people to manage their own care, and their own budgets.

We will work to ensure that social work training at degree and graduate levels reflects the changing role that social workers will need to play. Our proposals to strengthen post-registration training and learning will also support this objective and we have urged the Department of Health to consider how workers and their employers can be encouraged to make Post-Qualifying courses an essential part of continuing professional development.”

A call for the ‘rapid extension’ of registration to the entire social care workforce was also made as part of the response. The GSCC said the government’s commitment made in 2000 to registering the entire social care workforce over time remains ‘as important today as it was eight years ago.’ They added that the registration of other parts of the social care workforce would be a significant contribution to raising standards and protecting the public.