Social workers urged to have zero tolerance for unacceptable levels of care

Over the next two weeks, every social worker, social care worker and early years’ worker registered with the Scottish Social Services Council will receive information through their letterbox and inbox from their regulatory body emphasising their personal responsibility to report poor practice in care services by colleagues or providers.

This is part of the drive to improve standards of practice and promote zero tolerance for unacceptable levels of care in Scotland’s social services.

Garry Coutts, Convener of the SSSC explains: “Social service workers work with the most vulnerable members of our communities and they have a duty to act appropriately at all times. Events over the last year in particular are a poignant reminder that every one of us has a duty to speak out and raise our concerns if we are worried about the behaviour of a worker or the care of another.

I want to be very clear and emphasise that ‘doing nothing’ where there are genuine concerns is not acceptable and will question suitability to be on the SSSC Register and working in this sector. While the majority of workers do a good job often in difficult circumstances, the safety and wellbeing of people using services, carers and the public is paramount. You can be assured that we can and do take action against registered workers who breach the standards in the SSSC Code of Practice.”

The information highlighting their responsibilities is going out now by post and email in the autumn edition of SSSC News, delivered to over 45,000 social service workers registered with the SSSC and working in local authority, private and voluntary care services. Social service providers and employers are also being targeted with copies sent to all services regulated by the Care Inspectorate, the scrutiny and improvement body for early years and care services in Scotland.

Each worker registered with the SSSC must abide by the SSSC Code of Practice for Social Service Workers which sets out clear standards of conduct for workers.

The guidance also highlights who to go to with concerns. Read more on the guidance on reporting poor practice at