First social workers sign up to register

Social workers at Hampshire Council, and children’s
charities Barnardo’s and the NSPCC will be the first to sign
up to the social care register, launched this week.

The register, run by the General Social Care Council, is
initially only opened to social workers but the council hopes to
have all 1.5 million care professionals registered over the next

Although registration will initially be voluntary, the GSCC
hopes it will become a statutory requirement for social workers by

David Behan, director of social services at Greenwich Council
and president of the Association of Directors of Social Services,
said the register needed to be voluntary until a “critical mass” of
social workers had been registered.

Greenwich is considering paying the registration fees of
existing employees over the next two years to encourage them to

Terry Butler, director of social services at Hampshire Council,
said: “In addition to giving the public the reassurances they need,
it will also help to improve the standing of the profession.”

However, Ian Johnston, director of the British Association of
Social Workers, called for the register to become compulsory
earlier, and urged local authorities to recognise it immediately
and cover social workers’ registration costs.

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