Report: Elevation, Registration & Standardisation : The Professionalisation of Social Care Workers

It is widely acknowledged that Britain has a social care crisis. In recent months, this too often hidden issue has burst into the mainstream media and justifiably so. Few would argue that a major upheaval of the sector is required, as is a serious injection of funding.

But there is another, far less discussed crisis within this sector; the workforce crisis, and comprehensive evidence presented to this All-Party Inquiry suggests that it is widespread, acute and urgent.

High quality, sustainable social care is fundamental to a healthy and dignified society, yet care workers-the vital frontline foundation of the social  care system are too often overlooked in terms of investment, training, remuneration and value. This oversight is clearly impacting workers themselves and the vulnerable people who rely on their work.

This inquiry set out to examine in detail the status quo for staff working within the  care  sector, including  the  frameworks  that  exist  for professional development, the service levels required and provided in the care sector, and opportunities and systems for training, development and remuneration of social care workers. To this end, we issued an open call for evidence from four key fields of expertise and experience: employers and providers, care workers, specialist academics and relevant institutions and charities.

We sought to establish a forum for evidence and discussion (confidentially if required) as a beltway to assemble cogent, innovative and concrete proposals for workforce reform and the professionalisation of social care workers. We allowed the agenda to be evidence led and entirely formed by those who gave evidence. By extension, the central findings of this inquiry are substantively empirical.

Given the wider political context of an overdue, impending Green Paper on Social Care reform, we set a very tight timetable for the inquiry process.  The  material evidence could then form a dynamic contribution to the wider consultation process that will naturally accompany the publication of the Green Paper, when that political moment arrives.

In this regard, and to achieve adherence to this significant time sensitivity, some limitations have been placed on how far we have been able to explore this complex, multi-faceted issue. However, we hope that this report encourages debate around social care reform, to always include the professionalisation of social care workers as a prerequisite.

To this end we will ensure the work of this All-Party Group continues to offer an open forum for and political impetus to the issue of professionalisation and reform…

Download the full report here.

Picture – The All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Care (c) Twitter.