New register for social care workers launched

Social workers at Hampshire council and children’s
charities Barnardo’s and the NSPCC, are the first employees
to be eligible to register with the new social care register,
writes Derren Hayes.

The register is only open to social workers to begin with, but
the General Social Care Council, which is running the register,
hopes to get all 1.5 million care workers registered over the next

Initially, starting on a voluntary basis, the GSCC hopes it will
be a statutory requirement for social workers to be registered by
2005. Until then, it is banking on social workers coming forward
and paying the annual £30 registration fee out of professional

David Behan, director of social services at Greenwich council
and chairperson of the Association of Directors of Social Services,
said the register needed to be voluntary until a “critical mass” of
social workers had been registered.

Greenwich is considering paying the registration fees of
existing employees over the next two years to encourage them to
register, and Behan said that from a given date in the future new
workers would need to be registered to be considered for jobs.

Terry Butler, director of social services at Hampshire council,
echoed the views of most directors in welcoming the move.

“In addition to giving the public the reassurances they need, it
will also help to improve the standing of the profession, putting
social workers on a par with nurses, doctors and other
professionals,” he added.

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