The Social Worker Task Force today (1.12.09) delivered its long awaited report on the future of the profession. A summary of the main recommendations follows:
- Calibre of Entrants: that criteria governing the calibre of entrants to social work education and training be strengthened.
- Curriculum and Delivery: an overhaul of the content and delivery of social work degree courses.
- Practice Placements: that new arrangements be put in place to provide sufficient high quality practice placements, which are properly supervised and assessed, for all social work students.
- Assessed Year in Employment: the creation of an assessed and supported year in employment as the final stage in becoming a social worker.
- Regulation of Social Work Education: more transparent and effective regulation of social work education to give greater assurance of consistency and quality.
- Standard for Employers: the development of a clear national standard for the support social workers should expect from their employers in order to do their jobs effectively.
- Supervision: the new standard for employers should be supported by clear national requirements for the supervision of social workers.
- Front Line Management: the creation of dedicated programmes of training and support for front line social work managers.
- Continuing Professional Development: the creation of a more coherent and effective national framework for the continuing professional development of social workers, along with mechanisms to encourage a shift in culture which raises expectations of an entitlement to ongoing learning and development.
- National Career Structure: the creation of a single, nationally recognised career structure for social work.
- National College of Social Work: the creation of an independent national college of social work, developed and led by social workers.
- Public Understanding: a new programme of action on public understanding of social work.
- Licence to Practise: the development of a licence to practise system for social workers.
- Social Worker Supply: a new system for forecasting levels of supply and demand for social workers.
- National Reform Programme: the creation of a single national reform programme for social work.
PPMA will be closely examining the report and its implications and will be debating the issue of social worker recruitment and retention in more detail at the next Policy Board meeting.
Click here to download a copy of the full report