Three-quarters of social workers believe the regulation of the profession has increased its status, putting social work on a par with medicine and nursing.
The finding comes from a General Social Care Council survey of more than 800 social workers, published today to coincide with the number of registered social workers in England topping the 100,000 mark.
The poll was carried out through the GSCC’s Social Work Connections website.
Overall, 92% of social workers believe regulation has been good for the profession, with 76% believing that it had increased status and a similar proportion saying that it had helped social workers get the training they need.
Seventy two per cent said that regulation had improved public confidence in social work while 63% believe it had weeded out unsuitable people from the profession.
The GSCC was set up to regulate the profession in 2001, under the Care Standards Act 2000. Social workers in England have had to register with the GSCC since 2005, since when only registered practitioners have been permitted to call themselves social workers.
Registered social workers are also bound by a code of practice, with sanctions for those who breach it including suspensions and being barred from the profession.