Taskforce vice-chair backs probationary year for graduates

Andrew Webb

Newly qualified social workers should have to serve a probationary year before being able to register with the General Social Care Council, one of the Social Work Task Force’s vice-chairs said yesterday.

Andrew Webb, who said he was speaking in a personal capacity rather than on behalf of the taskforce, told the Association of Directors of Children’s Services’ annual conference that the evidence he had seen pointed to the necessity of a protected first year in employment for graduates.

Protected caseloads

He said that the year should be assessed and should include protected caseloads and increased supervision.

“Would any legal firm give a newly qualified lawyer the most difficult problem to solve? Particularly if they come into the council through an agency that could happen in social work,” he said.

NQSW support plans

The government plans to provide all newly qualified social workers in children’s and adults’ services in England with extra support in their first year from this autumn onwards. However, graduates will continue to be eligible for registration with the GSCC on successfully completing their degrees.

Earlier this year, social work academics backed the introduction of a probationary year before registration as part of a package of measures to improve training.

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