New qualification for residential child care

The Scottish Government has asked the SSSC to begin work on establishing a degree level qualification for the residential child care workforce in keeping with the National Residential Child Care Initiative (NRCCI).

The primary purpose of the NRCCI was to undertake a strategic review of residential child care services and make sector driven recommendations to the Scottish Government, local government and providers of residential child care.

The NRCCI produced key messages and recommendations in a number of areas of residential child care provision, including workforce matters.

The new qualification

The qualification will provide a way of helping all our residential child care workers to become a degree-led workforce.  The qualification will also be required to meet the SSSC’s registration criteria. These include: based on National Occupational Standards/benchmark standards, observed and assessed practice, compliant with the SSSC Codes of Practice, located within Scottish Credit Qualification Framework and subject to external scrutiny. The SSSC registration process requires managers and supervisors to be the first group to be considered.

The first part of this work is underway and representatives from the sector are working together to develop benchmark standards for the residential child care workforce.  Once the standards are agreed the next piece of work would be developing them into qualifications for the sector.

How will this be achieved?

Earlier this year independent researchers gathered views from the sector on the content of a new qualification on behalf of the SSSC. This has helped inform the writing of the benchmark standards. There are three elements to the writing process:

Strategic group

The strategic group provides advice, expertise, guidance, scrutiny and final approval of the proposed standards.  This group will guide the development of and establish the key requirements of the new qualification, including the practise needs, knowledge and skills, mode of delivery and aspirations of the award.

Technical expert (writers) group

The SSSC has commissioned independent consultants to work with this group to write the standards.  The consultants will rely on a variety of sources to inform what should be included in the standards. The sources include the expertise represented in this sub-group, views gathered from children and young people as well as research on residential care.

Anne Houston, Chief Executive of Children 1st is the independent chair of the strategic and technical expert group.

Children and young people

This group will gather the views from children and young people on what should be in the standards. The group includes representative from Who Cares? Scotland, Scottish Through Care Aftercare, CELCIS, Kibble and the Children’s Commissioner.

What’s happening now?

The next stage will be a series of events (early 2013) to inform the development of the new degree.  More details available soon.

The standards will be completed by March 2013.