Lord Laming’s focus on social workers and their skills and support welcomed

The General Social Care Council (GSCC) has praised Lord Laming for highlighting the importance of training and support for social workers and the pivotal role played by those who employ them.

The GSCC, which regulates social workers and the quality of their education and training, wrote to Lord Laming supporting many of the recommendations announced today. These included making the GSCC’s code of practice for employers mandatory and requiring social workers to complete specialised post-qualifying training in their area of work.

Rosie Varley, Chair of the General Social Care Council (GSCC), said:
“Social workers make a huge contribution to the lives of those children, adults, and families who face difficulties and challenges. It is vital that social workers are properly trained, supported and valued for the work they do. We therefore wholeheartedly welcome Lord Laming’s recommendations, which will have a significant impact on raising standards in social work and helping those who practise it to perform to the best of their abilities.”

She added: “Central to this is the training available to social workers, throughout their careers. We are currently reviewing whether we have the right system to ensure robust inspection of social work degree courses and will be working closely with the government on this. We also welcome the importance Lord Laming has placed on post-qualifying training. The initial degree is only the beginning of what should be a continuous process of learning throughout a social worker’s career.

“The role of the employer in keeping standards high is fundamental. We are delighted that Lord Laming agrees that compliance with our code of practice for employers, which sets out their responsibilities around providing training opportunities and supervising staff, should be mandatory. This is something we have urged for some time as we think it will make a significant difference to social workers and the standard of their work.

“It would also compel employers to inform us of misconduct on the part of a social worker, something that does not routinely happen at present and which hinders our ability to uphold standards in the profession. With this information we could act swiftly to establish whether any individual has committed serious misconduct and take action where needed to safeguard standards and protect the public.”