Ministers to pilot extra support for graduates but shun degree split

The government plans to pilot newly-qualified social worker status from 2008 for children’s practitioners, but appears to have ruled out splitting the social work degree into adults’ and children’s qualifications.

Under the move, promised in the Care Matters white paper on looked-after children, published in June, all new children’s social workers would be given newly-qualified status in their first year of practice.

Graduate social workers would be given reduced caseloads and increased supervision under the scheme, which will be similar to the one for teachers.

Government health spokesperson Baroness Royall told a House of Lords debate on Monday that the Department for Children, Schools and Families had allocated £21m to pilot the idea from 2008-11.

She also said that the Department of Health intended to apply the scheme to adults’ practitioners.

However, Royall appeared to rule out splitting the social work degree into separate children’s and adults’ qualifications, as had been rumoured.

She said: “We are not proposing to create separate social work degrees for children and adults and we want to maintain coherence between children and adult services.”

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Should there be a ‘provisional licence’ for social workers?

Essential information on the social care workforce

More information

Care Matters white paper

Options for Excellence paper on the social care workforce


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