Move to delay social work degree split wins plaudits

The government’s decision to put on hold Lord Laming’s call to split the social work degree after a generic first year has been welcomed by education chiefs.

The government said last week in its response to Laming that it would make a decision on how far students should specialise in children’s and adult services after hearing the Social Work Task Force’s conclusions, which are due in October.

The taskforce’s interim report said that there was scope for specialisation to happen after the second year of the degree and that it was important that students gained an understanding of adults’ and children’s needs.

Taskforce chair Moira Gibb has already voiced her opposition to Laming’s proposal.

The government’s decision was welcomed by Hilary Tompsett, chair of the Joint University Council Social Work Education Committee, which backs retaining a generic degree.

“Eight per cent of children known to children’s social care services have an adult in the family with difficulties,” she said. “Social work practitioners need the generic body of knowledge that crosses service boundaries.”

The General Social Care Council said it was pleased the taskforce had rejected Laming’s proposal for specialisation.

The Social Work Education Committee has submitted proposals on training to the task force, including a probationary year for all staff.

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