A critical opportunity to help shape the future of social work is here

The public consultation on the regulatory framework for the new specialist regulator for social workers, is now open.

Over the last few months, there has been real progress in establishing Social Work England, the new regulator for social workers in England.

My December blog post welcomed both the news that Social Work England will be based in Sheffield and the launch of recruitment activity for the organisation's Chair and Chief Executive Officer.

Now, we can see for the first time how the detail of the regulator’s proposed legal framework will look – a huge step along the road to putting in place a more flexible and proportionate regulatory framework for social workers.

For those of us who know what it is to be a social worker day to day, supporting the most vulnerable people in our society, this is a chance to influence the development of the final set of regulations for Social Work England.

This is a fantastic opportunity to make sure our views are heard so that the regulator can support us to deliver consistently high quality services for the people we work with.

So what’s going to be different about Social Work England?

From its Sheffield base, Social Work England - with your help - wants to change the landscape of social work regulation for the better

As I mentioned earlier, the Government’s vision in establishing Social Work England is to create a regulator that is streamlined, proportionate and efficient. The aim is to take account of the latest thinking, enabling the regulator to adapt more quickly to emerging opportunities, challenges and best practice. In this way, it can create professional regulation which reflects the changing reality of social work, maintaining its safe delivery and effectiveness.

Social Work England will set new standards that - we believe - will get to the heart of what it means to be a social worker. We hope too that it will consistently and fairly:

  • measure the quality of teaching and practice against those standards
  • create a fitness to practise system that is fit for purpose
  • make sure action is proportionate, timely and effective and;
  • provide opportunities for individuals, the sector and Government to learn how social work practice could improve.

It is vital we get this right, which is why it is so important to maximise this opportunity to influence the future of social worker professional regulation.

It is our challenge, our thoughts and our feedback that will help ensure that Social Work England really delivers for the social work profession, and crucially, people we work with and the general public.

Do please take the time to contribute your views.

The consultation closes on 21 March 2018.

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