New Era For NI Social Services Launched

Social Services Minister, Paul Goggins, has launched a strategy to boost training throughout the social services workforce and improve safety. Under the Personal Social Services Development and Training Strategy, all staff, for the first time, will have to undertake training regularly, to maintain their registration with the Northern Ireland Social Care Council. The Council will then be able to monitor that they are practising safely. The Strategy ensures that people will be supported, through comprehensive training, to maintain those high standards of service.

Paul Goggins said: ‘All of us, at some times in our lives, are likely to need social services. Often it is when we are at our most vulnerable that we need to use them. We must be able to have confidence that social services staff who come into our homes, or look after us in residential homes or in day centres are highly skilled, well motivated individuals who can deliver a safe and effective service. The Strategy I am launching today aims to ensure everyone using social services in Northern Ireland can have that confidence.’

Brendan McKeever, who is a member of the service users group of NISCC, said: “I warmly welcome this Strategy. It places service users and carers at the heart of the whole process and gives us a key role in advising and helping to tailor the training. This means that social care workers get the opportunity to hear ‘from the horse’s mouth’ what sort of services and care are really needed and service users and carers are helping directly to plan and deliver training.”