Compare and contrast

The March consultation v the October final draft

● Multi-agency working: The March document talked about social workers taking the lead in multi-agency work and providing leadership. By comparison, the final draft simply refers to developing core partnerships, co-ordinating support and encouraging integrated working. However, it does add that social work also has a responsibility to feed its knowledge, values and approaches into the work of joint teams.

● Bureaucracy: The March version had a section dedicated to what social workers shouldn’t do that says they shouldn’t waste time on admin and that they need better support systems. It also calls for over-bureaucratic procedures and unmanageable workloads to be eliminated. By comparison, the final draft simply states that employers must provide good IT and management systems and good working conditions but doesn’t specifically mention admin or workload levels.

● Professional responsibility: The March document had a specific section on treating social work as a full-fledged profession, with social workers having more autonomy and responsibility and greater budget-holding powers. There was no obvious equivalent section in the final draft.

● Career structures: The March document stresses the importance of routes to promotion and seniority that retain opportunities for direct practice, including specialist and consultant roles, and of job specs matching higher levels of competence. The final draft simply makes vague references to continuing personal and professional development and good learning opportunities.

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