Don’t separate social work from social care, SCA chief warns

The Social Care Association has strongly criticised Social Work Task Force chair Moira Gibb for suggesting that social work should be clearly distinguished from other social care roles.

Speaking to Community Care last week, Gibb said that social work needed to be set apart from general social care in order to raise the status and profile of the profession. She claimed that agencies often did not focus on social work and that the taskforce was “one of the few forums” where it could be discussed as a profession in its own right.

‘Mistaken’ views

Gibb’s comments were criticised today by professional membership body the Social Care Association. SCA chief executive Nick Johnson, labelled her views “mistaken” and said that social work was “pointless” without the rest of the social care workforce. He pointed out that many social care providers were staffed by qualified and registered social workers.

He added: “I would suggest to the taskforce that social workers would find it beneficial to stay near to their friends at times like this.”

Social care benefits

Johnson added that social work has historically benefited from an intake of new professionals drawn from highly experienced social care workers.

He said: “I would assert that a social work profession made up of a rising proportion of young graduates will be the worse for that and the taskforce might consider finding a new opening for this group.”

National college of social work

The SCA also rejected a recent call by the British Association of Social Workers to establish a national college of social work to boost the status of the profession and raise standards. It said that the idea would only work if a similar institution was created to acknowledge the contribution of the wider social care workforce.

The news came after the Social Work Task Force announced that it would consult on a new description of social work because existing definitions were difficult for the public, other professionals and even social workers to understand.

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