The General Social Care Council changed tack last week when it
announced that it would recommend that domiciliary care workers be
included in the next batch of staff to be registered.
The GSCC will recommend to the government that outreach and
domiciliary care workers, residential child care workers and those
working in residential family centres should be next to be signed
up to the social care register, along with social care managers.
The council had originally planned to focus solely on social care
managers in the second tranche of registration and for the other
groups to make up the following round. Qualified social workers are
the first group to be registered, a process which must be completed
by 1 April 2005.
The change of heart follows a consultation where a “substantial
number” of respondents argued that social care staff who posed the
highest risk to service users should be made a higher priority in
the order of registration.
Gary FitzGerald, chief executive of the charity Action on Elder
Abuse, said that he was “delighted” that domiciliary care workers
were being moved up the list as registration would help combat
“This will be one way that we can start to identify those people
who should never be working in domiciliary care,” he said. He added
that the decision was also timely as inspection and regulation was
now focusing on domiciliary care for the first time.
“The crucial issue is what the qualifications for registering are
going to be,” said Lesley Rimmer, chief executive of the UK Home
Care Association. She said that her organisation had problems
trying to get funding for members who wanted to train their staff
and wanted the whole structure to be made more
She was also concerned about how much it would cost for domiciliary
care workers to register and who would be expected to pay for it.