The College of Social Work today launches a free membership deal, giving frontline practitioners the chance to develop the organisation’s professional services ahead of its official launch in 2012.
Those who take up the offer will become prospective members and can have a say in how the College will be developed and run. After the launch they will become founder members and be entitled to discounted membership fees.
Last month, it was revealed in the College business plan that membership was likely to be set at £270 a year.
Social workers who register for prospective membership will have a say on the make-up of the College’s proposed membership services. These include a magazine, a peer-reviewed journal, tools and resources for practice and a professional service to help local authorities deal with crises.
The prospective members will be asked to pilot some of these services.
Registered and non-registered social workers can join, along with students, academics and other interested parties.
However, the main focus will be on registered practitioners. This reflects the Social Work Task Force’s recommendation in its final report, Building a Safe, Confident Future, that a national college should be developed and led by the profession.
Although the College applies to social workers in England only, professionals from devolved UK nations can join as prospective affiliates.
To entice busy frontline professionals, the College has revealed that time they spend on building it will count towards their continuing professional development.
Corinne May-Chahal, interim co-chair of the College, said: “We want to draw on their experience and expertise as prospective members to build a college which will give the profession the positive recognition it deserves.”
Her fellow co-chair, Maurice Bates, added: “It is a unique opportunity for social workers themselves to change the face of their profession.”
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