The Adult Social Care Workforce Strategy was launched on 23 April by care minister Phil Hope with the aim of preparing the staff to meet the aspirations of the personalisation agenda.
Encouraging the new generation
The strategy reiterated an existing pledge of £4m for supervision and support for newly qualified social workers and a management scheme for graduates and a new proposal to start a scheme to register home care workers with the General Social Care Council from next year.The strategy says in future registration could be extended to other parts of the workforce. Hope said this could include residential staff.
Other proposals include:
- The CareFirst scheme, announced in the 2009 Budget, which will create 50,000 social care traineeships for unemployed under-25s. Social care employers will receive a £1,500 subsidy to take on trainees for up to six months.
- A management scheme for graduates and private sector leaders.
- Development of the government-run Social Care Awards to raise the status of working in the sector.
Hope said he wanted to encourage a “new generation” into social care to fill the growing number of vacancies. “Once we recruit people, we must do everything we can to keep and grow new talent. I hope the new apprenticeships will go a long way to doing this,” he added.
Hope pledged to “win back public confidence” in social care by extending compulsory registration to England’s 500,000 home care workers to improve service user safeguarding. A consultation on the registration requirements including training will be held later this year.
John Nawrockyi, secretary of the Adass Workforce Development Network said the association had been working closely with the Department of Health on developing the strategy.
“We believe this has helped our strategy reflect the rapidly changing expectations upon the workforce arising from the personalisation agenda of Putting People First,” he said.
Although the General Social Care Council welcomed the plan to register home care workers, chair Rosie Varley said the regulator was “disappointed” that this did not apply to residential care staff.
“Hundreds of thousands of people receive care in their home and this is set to increase as people live longer,” Varley said. “It is crucial, therefore, that they can be confident that the person who provides their care is skilled, competent and can be trusted.”
The British Association of Social Workers expressed disappointment that there were no new proposals for adult’s social workers in the strategy, after the government said it was waiting for the Social Work Taskforce to report in October.
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