Social Work Taskforce chair warns against training split

Social work training should not be split into separate adult and children’s specialisms, according to the chair of the Social Work Taskforce.

Moira Gibb told the Adass spring seminar that further separation of adults’ and children’s work would fragment the profession. She also opposed early specialisation in social work training as recommended for children’s social workers by Lord Laming’s recent review.

Gibb said that, although some children’s directors were in favour of splitting training, a “longer view” was needed.

Specialism too early

“Lord Laming’s report called for specialism in the degree after one year. I think that may be too early,” she told adults’ directors.

Gibb was also keen to emphasise the wide remit of the taskforce, despite it having certain tasks around children’s services such as examining IT systems. “It is not the Baby P taskforce, it is about the whole social work profession,” she said.

Regional events need more input

But she was concerned that social workers from adults’ services were not well represented at the taskforce’s regional events and said she wanted more input from them.

Gibb also defended the role of The Sun agony aunt Deidre Sanders on the taskforce. “Deidre is a fantastic asset around the image of social work,” she said. “She sees the positive stories and says we must get those stories out there.”

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