The Local Government Group has been tasked with rolling out standards for social work employers in England from this month.
Under the standards, developed by the Social Work Reform Board, employers will be expected to provide 90 minutes of regular, uninterrupted supervision for all social workers, as well as annual “health checks” to assess team working environments and caseload management systems.
The College of Social Work is talking to the government’s Joint Social Work Unit (JSWU) and to employers about how to support the LGG in this work, it was revealed at the NCAS conference.
The College will develop an action plan over the next 18 months for bringing together partners who may be affected by the standards, including the NHS and private, voluntary and independent sectors.
There are no sanctions for employers who do not meet the standards and social workers have previously questioned whether they will have any teeth.
In response to these concerns, the College is investigating whether to develop an economic case for the standards, to convince employers of their worth.
“We are looking at how to incentivise compliance with the standards and how learning from best practice can be spread,” said Claire Barcham, professional practice development adviser for the College.
Meanwhile, the College is holding three professional leadership events with social work representatives from across England and plans to consult around the capabilities that a principal social worker should have.
Professor Eileen Munro’s review of child protection in England called for a principal social worker role to be created at every local authority.
The College will work with the Children’s Workforce Development Council and JSWU on moving to the next stage.
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