Adult social work practices could fragment support for older and disabled people, Association of Directors of Adult Social Services president Richard Jones has warned.
While Jones welcomed the profile given to adult social work by health secretary Andrew Lansley, who announced today that practices would be piloted, he said that they could have adverse effects if they separated social workers from health professionals and non-qualified care staff in councils.
“It was really positive to have a secretary of state talk about social work,” said Jones, who served on the Social Work Task Force. “My concern is that social work is increasingly embedded in a range of roles that are increasingly integrated with health staff. If you take them away from the arrangements that sit with integrated teams we will seem to be raising a profession’s profile at the expense of citizens.”
But he stressed that social work practice pilots did not have to lead to disintegration of services.
Lansley had earlier said that social work practice pilots would sit across health and social care. It is not clear how this would work but it could involve practices including community health professionals, such as district nurses.
Following Lansley’s announcement, at the National Children and Adult Services Conference, care services minister Paul Burstow confirmed that practices would be responsible for safeguarding vulnerable adults.
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