The College of Social Work says it aims to have 35,000 members and be financially independent of government by the end of 2017.
The college’s draft strategy for 2014-2017 says the organisation, which currently has 13,590 members, hopes to boost its membership, become financially self-sustaining and offer more practice resources over the next three years.
It also plans to increase its regional presence, develop “coherent strategies” for engaging service users in its work and improve its corporate membership offer to induce more organisations to sign up.
The strategy, which is out for consultation until 1 September, says social workers “need a professional college that stands up for social work, reflects the profession’s concerns and priorities, and empowers practitioners to serve people well when their circumstances are difficult”.
The college also says it will seek to recruit more social workers who work in the voluntary and private sector where its “market penetration is still relatively low compared with the statutory sector”, develop a consultancy business to bring in more income and be proactive in setting the media agenda.
The strategy adds that the college plans to continue to push for a national quality assurance system for the assessed and supported year in employment and seek to equip its members to take the lead in multi-disciplinary settings including integrated health and social care services.
The college says it hopes that by 2017 social workers will see membership “as a mark of professional pride and essential to first-class social work practice”.
The consultation on the draft strategy is open to college members and around 40 stakeholder organisations, such as BASW and various charities.