Scots inspectors issue skills crisis warning

A serious shortfall of qualified social workers is failing to
match increasing demands for services according to the first
national report by Scotland’s Social Work Services

The report, Changing for the Future, identifies a lack
of qualified staff as well as a fall in people applying for
professional courses. The combination has led to increasing
concerns about social work’s ability to meet the needs of an ageing
population, particularly as the older the population, the smaller
the pool of potential employees.

Angus Skinner, chief inspector, has called for a local and
national action plan over the next 10 years to tackle the problem.
The Association of Directors of Social Work welcomed the report,
which reflected a positive view of social work in the country’s
largest survey of consumers and showed that most departments had
coped well with the upheaval of local government reorganisation in

The association went on to agree with the report’s concerns and
stated: “ADSW believes that growth and improvements in services for
children and families and adults with disabilities will now depend
on the availability of additional resources.”

The report was published only a week after the Convention of
Scottish Local Authorities called for a complete makeover for
social work and a month after its social work spokesperson,
Kingsley Thomas, called for the creation of “super social


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