Compulsory registration for social workers

All social care workers in Northern Ireland will have to be registered according to new plans outlined by Social Services Minister, Michael McGimpsey.

Over 7000 workers have joined the register since it was introduced in 2005 but there are till approximately 20,000 workers not yet on the Northern Ireland Social Care Council register.

The Minister said: “I am committed to ensuring unsuitable people are prevented from working with children or vulnerable adults and to improving the standard of social services.

“I believe registration of the workforce plays an important part in achieving this goal and assuring the public of the competence and safety of individual staff to provide a quality service.’

“However, given the current economic climate and the importance of a proportionate and affordable approach for this workforce, compulsory registration will be introduced on a staged basis.

“Therefore I am proposing that social care managers will be one of the first priority groups as they have specific responsibility for the standard of care, supervision of staff and provision of services to the public.”

The first groups of workers in the compulsory roll out include those working in residential, day care and home care; unqualified residential child care workers and social care workers in adult residential or nursing homes.

Concluding the Minister said: “It is important that those people who work with vulnerable groups such as children and the elderly are registered. Plans to introduce compulsory registration for the remaining groups of social care workers will be brought forward as quickly as possible.”