Inquiry into staff roles in England to mirror Scottish and Welsh reviews

A major review of social work roles and tasks will be carried out in England by the General Social Care Council.

The inquiry, launched last week on the back of the Options for Excellence social care review, will tackle the future of social work in the context of increasing user control over services and inter-disciplinary working.

It will mirror the 21st Century Review of Social Work in Scotland and last year’s study by the Association of Directors of Social Services Cymru, Social Work in Wales: A Profession to Value.

GSCC chief executive Lynne Berry said: “We want to make sure that those doing the job know how their contribution is different from others.”

Nushra Mapstone, professional officer for England at the British Association of Social Workers, said the organisation welcomed the review because it could help reaffirm social work’s values.

She said: “People are feeling very insecure about their jobs at the moment because the policy changes are coming thick and fast. The timing is frenetic for people on the ground.

“A lot of social workers really want social work to be back in the community. “It has become so bureaucratic. Some members are saying they are concerned about the future of direct work with children and families when it should be our meat and

She added that there were concerns that the social workers could become technocrats if they were given a greater role as commissioners, which could result in their relationships with service users becoming more remote.

Groups prepare to oversee review
Two groups will be established to oversee the work. The first is made up of the GSCC, the Commission for Social Care Inspection, Skills for Care, the Social Care Institute for Excellence and the Children’s Workforce Development Council. The second will be made up of groups including Unison, the British Association of Social Workers and voluntary sector employers. 
The review will include a public consultation and is expected to report in the spring.

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