Social workers meet England deadline

    The General Social Care Council said that almost all front-line
    social workers in England applied for registration by the 1
    December deadline.

    The GSCC received 44,435 forms by the cut off date. It estimates
    that there are around 40,000 front-line social workers in England,
    and a further 20,000 with qualifications that make them eligible to
    register.

    The GSCC said it could not guarantee that anyone who registers
    after the deadline will be processed by 1 April 2005, when
    registration becomes a legal requirement in England and Wales.

    In Wales, the Care Council is confident of registering its 3,000
    social workers by the April deadline, despite only half having
    signed up by last month.

    In Scotland, all qualified social workers have to apply to be
    registered by the end of April 2005 in order to guarantee
    registration by the time it becomes a legal requirement in Scotland
    on 1 September.

    Meanwhile, the General Social Care Council has announced that it
    would recommend to the government that domiciliary care workers be
    included in the next batch of staff to be registered.

    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. 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.

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