The government has moved to avert a possible crisis in adoption support services by agreeing to amend regulations on the registration of self-employed social workers operating in the sector.
Junior children’s minister Parmjit Dhanda has made the commitment after lobbying from the British Association of Social Workers’ independents’ forum.
The forum warned ealier this year that confusion over the Adoption Support Services Regulations 2005 could cause experienced independent social workers, who are very active in such work, to leave the field.
It said practitioners had received conflicting guidance from the Department for Education and Skills and the Commission for Social Care Inspection on the regulations.
In a letter to Labour MP Gwyneth Dunwoody, who intervened on behalf of the forum, Dhanda said self-employed practitioners providing adoption support services on behalf of other organisations would not have to register with the CSCI.
Instead, agencies or authorities contracting them would be responsible for ensuring their suitability to practice.
However, any self-employed practitioners directly providing adoption support services would have to register as small adoption support agencies.