Lynda Bowen is a locality manager within adult services at Hull Council. She has been a social worker for 24 years and registered with the GSCC for 18 months
“Registration is having an impact on us as a profession. It is just starting to filter through. But it hasn’t changed the context of our working environment. It will get into the culture gradually. But it is making people more aware that they will be held to account.
“It is important for service users. We could do a lot more to talk about what it means to them. For some older people who may feel vulnerable it would be a reassurance and they could feel more confident about sharing personal and financial information because they will know checks have been carried out on the worker. There needs to be a national lead on telling people about registration.
“Locally we are considering how we can let service users know. I am proud to be a professional. It implies you have the training, expertise and skills to do your job. Sometimes the word ‘professional’ can mean negative things to people receiving the service but surely in terms of being a social worker it means having the skills to bring out people’s different emotions, that you have the expertise to deal with a range of behaviours.
“The beauty of social work is that you have an eclectic mix of skills. By registering social workers it has cemented what the function of the role is, which is important at times of integration.
“When we work with other groups of people, such as those in health where they have their own professional bodies, registration gives us equal credibility and professional standing. Training is a very important aspect of registration and it is a big step for social care to put in a place a requirement for training. For the first time employers can say ‘my training needs are important’.
“I have used the GSCC requirement when putting forward cases for training for myself and my colleagues. We are just at the point where we are doing an interim review to see how people are getting on with their training programmes. It is meant to be continuous learning so there would be no point cramming all of it into a few months before re-registration.
“You don’t need lots more money to meet the requirement. We are looking at the resources we already have. People can learn and improve in a range of ways, like being involved in networks.
When somebody goes on a course, for example, they have to make a case for it and we also expect feedback.
“Recently some of the team went to visit a dementia caf in Leeds and now we are looking at setting up something similar here. The GSCC has strong leadership right from the top and is leading by example. It has a clear vision of what social care is and that needs to be transmitted widely.”