The government has deferred any decision on Lord Laming’s call for the social work degree to be split into children and adult specialisms after a generic first year.
Though it has accepted all 58 of Laming’s recommendations on improving child protection, the Department for Children, Schools and Families said it would base any decision on splitting the degree on the recommendations of the Social Work Task Force, which is due to report in October.
And in a report on its interim findings today, the task force voiced scepticism over the case for specialisation in the second year of the degree, echoing comments made by its chair, Moira Gibb, at last month’s Association of Directors of Adult Social Services spring seminar.
Split after year one urged by Laming
Laming’s call for specialisation to take place after a generic first year drew fire from social work leaders, who warned that children’s social workers needed a thorough grounding in practice with adults, given the need to assess families as a whole.
In its formal response to the Laming report today, the DCSF said: “The government will implement Lord Laming’s recommendation in the light of the task force’s recommendations about how and when social workers should be able to
specialise in their training in order to ensure that they are fully effective in practice.”
Task force sceptical
In its report today, the task force said that early specialisation should not “prevent social workers from gaining the full range of skills they need to work with adults, children and families”.
It said government commitments on providing support to newly qualified social workers and funding a new Masters degree in child social work meant there was “scope for specialisation to happen later than in the second year of the initial social work degree”.
At the spring seminar last month, Gibb said: “Lord Laming’s report called for specialism in the degree after one year. I think that may be too early.”
- Do you agree that the social work degree should be split into adult and children’s specialisms after one year? Have your say on CareSpace.