The role of the Scottish Social Services Council should be seen
as a means of promoting good practice rather than of protecting the
public against bad practice, said Cherry Rowlings, professor of
social work at Sterling University, in the Edinburgh Social Work
Department annual lecture last week.
Describing the portrayal of the public protection role of the
councils as “unfortunate”, Professor Rowlings said: “Regulation is
not just about policing. I would like to see the pursuit of
excellence as a more prominent theme… rather than the avoidance
of bad practice.”
She urged that the plan for government to appoint members and
chairs of the council should be contested. “The council must
establish itself in its own right. It will not be owned by the
social services sector if it is dominated by the government.
“Respect for its endeavours will be limited if it is seen to be
subservient to any one interest.”
The balance could be better achieved, she suggested, if at least
some members were elected.