Employers are failing to pass on information about social workers who may have breached the workers’ code of practice, the chair of the General Social Care Council has warned.
Rosie Varley said some internal disciplinary cases had only come to the GSCC’s attention via the press, adding: “This is of great concern to us.”
The GSCC is writing to every social work employer in England reminding them of their duty to report staff misconduct cases to the regulator.
Duty to cooperate
The regulator wants to see greater compliance with code 5.5 of the code of practice for employers: to inform the regulator of any behaviour by staff which calls into question their suitability to remain on the register.
A GSCC spokesperson said the letter to employers would “clarify their responsibilities” on this and other requirements to promote the code of practice for workers among their staff and cooperate with the GSCC in its proceedings.
Service users ‘must be protected’
Varley added: “When an employer has information that leads them to call into question a social worker’s conduct, it is vital that the regulator is informed. Many employers are working with us on this, but not all understand our role and, crucially, the role they play in ensuring the integrity of the Social Care Register and protecting service users from unsuitable workers.”
The requirements are set to become mandatory after Lord Laming recommended that the code of practice for employers be placed on a statutory footing, a move welcomed by the GSCC. The government has accepted this along with all the other recommendations in Laming’s review of child protection.