Unregistered social workers will be fined £5,000

Social workers who do not register with the General Social Care
Council by next April could be fined up to £5,000, the
government has announced, writes Sally

Legal changes will come into force that make the title social
worker ‘protected’, which will mean that anyone describing
themselves as such without being registered will be committing a
criminal offence.

Ten months after registration began fewer than 5,000 of the
estimated 60,000 social workers have been entered onto the

Community care minister Stephen Ladyman told the annual
conference of training body Topss in Nottingham that people who
used the title without being registered would be fined.

But delegates said that there was a danger that professionals
who were carrying out jobs that were essentially social work, but
not described as such in their job title, would not be covered.

Ladyman said he hoped councils would see the benefit of the
protected title, which would elevate social work’s status to
that of doctors or lawyers.

The GSCC is urging all social workers to apply as soon as
possible to avoid a last-minute rush to process all applications,
which could result in delays..

It is hoped the new legal requirement will act as an incentive
to register, and a letter has been sent to all local authority lead
members for social services in England.

Students will be registered from September 2004.

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