Public backs drive to regulate sector

Nine out of 10 people believe regulation and registration of the
social care workforce will deliver higher standards and improve
public protection, suggests a new survey from the General Social
Care Council.

Only four in 10 of those polled thought social workers played a
“very important” role in society. This compared with eight in 10
who believe police, nurses, teachers and doctors play a very
important role. About 1,000 people took part in the survey

The survey will give the GSCC a benchmark against which to gauge
the impact of the national social care register and code of conduct
on public perceptions of the profession. A key aim of the body is
to promote awareness and respect for the social care

With the official launch of the register next week, the GSCC has
denied claims by Paul Burstow, Liberal Democrat social care
spokesperson, that it could take more than 20 years for every
social care practitioner, owner and manager to be registered.

A spokesperson for the GSCC said the target of 5,000 registrations
a month should ensure that all 80,000 qualified social workers are
registered within 18 months. After that about 60,000 new
registrations would be expected each year.

She said: “Once we have registered qualified social workers we’re
going to move on to social work students, then managers and owners
of care homes, and staff in residential children’s homes.”

She added that, although the process could take years, it should be
remembered that every member of the workforce was now required to
abide by the code of practice introduced last September.

“Every registration is a step forward in improving standards and
public protection and the reputation of the sector,” the
spokesperson said.

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