Proposals from Lord Laming for compulsory post-qualifying training for children’s social workers have been welcomed by sector leaders.
Laming called for a new PQ award in safeguarding children to be established, which he said should be completed by all children’s social workers, in his report last week on child protection. Laming said this should be centrally funded, with protected study time given to practitioners.
Though the government has accepted all of Laming’s recommendations, children’s secretary Ed Balls is yet to respond to this one.
However, in a letter to Laming last week, he announced plans to make social work a “Masters-level profession” across all client groups.
And, following Laming’s call for the Social Work Taskforce to establish a national framework for career progression in children’s social work, Balls promised to create an “advanced social worker status” to encourage experienced practitioners to remain in practice.
The Children’s Workforce Development Council, which began developing the advanced social worker status last year, and the General Social Care Council, agreed the initiatives would be key to driving up child protection standards.
Backing GSCC’s call
GSCC chief executive Mike Wardle said he was glad that Laming had backed the council’s call, following the Baby P case, for no social worker to be allowed to take on complex child protection work without relevant specialist training.
Jane Haywood, chief executive of the CWDC, described the recommendations as “really exciting”.
She said she fully supported Laming’s desire for the children’s sector to adopt “a culture of continuous learning and development as a natural part of social work practice”.
Unison welcomes protected study time
Helga Pile, national officer for social care at Unison, welcomed the commitment to ensure protected study time for social workers undertaking post-qualifying learning.
She explained members had been hampered by the lack of opportunities and resources to combine studying with frontline duties.
“Even if they’re funded to do it they find it impossible because of their workload.”