Workers support registration but have doubts over implementation

One in seven qualified social workers won’t register with the
General Social Care Council “until forced to”, exclusive
Community Care research has revealed.

Although 96 per cent of the 1,000 qualified social workers who
responded knew it would be compulsory for them to register by April
2005, 89 per cent have yet to register and 3 per cent do not intend

The survey of 1,800 social care staff reveals strong support for
the concept of registration, but widespread concern among staff
about the way the register will work in practice.

More than seven out of 10 respondents believe the register will
improve the standard of social care in the UK, as well as raising
the status of those who work in the sector. And there is
overwhelming support for the UK’s four social care councils to be
able to strike social workers off the register (91 per cent) and
hold public disciplinary hearings (96 per cent).

Yet, worryingly, two-thirds of respondents do not have confidence
that the register will prevent unsuitable people from

Another two-thirds say they are concerned that the register could
be misused to prevent suitable people from getting a job.

The introduction of continuing professional development is also
cause for concern. Two-thirds say they will find it difficult to
take the necessary time out, while 81 per cent believe finding
cover will be difficult.

Those working with families expect to be particularly badly
affected, with nearly nine out of 10 predicting difficulties.

Widespread confusion and ignorance still exists about the role of
the GSCC and its UK counterparts. One in five respondents thought
they registered care homes, and one in 10 believed they would audit
local authority spending on social care. Neither of these are part
of the councils’ roles.

And despite a large scale advertising campaign to encourage social
workers to register early, three-quarters did not know that social
workers could face a fine of £5,000 for failing to register,
and 62 per cent did not realise they have to be registered before
taking a new job.

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