Social Work Taskforce to unveil plans on Tuesday

The Social Work Task Force will announce on Tuesday its recommendations for building a stronger future for the profession in England.

The panel of experts will set out a programme for long-term reform to improve the training, conditions and overall status of the workforce after a 10-month review.

The proposals are expected to include a new career progression framework for social workers, a mandatory probationary year for newly qualified practitioners and a national college for the profession.

Vicious circle

The panel, which includes directors of local authority services, charity leaders and frontline social workers, has been gathering evidence and consulting the sector through surveys and focus groups.

The interim report, published in July, identified a “vicious circle” of problems including a lack of high-quality support and training, poor public understanding of the social worker role, weak leadership and high staff turnover.

It mooted a national college of social work to promote the profession and laid out nine building blocks for reform: initial training, continued professional development, resources to support practitioners, national leadership, career structure, workforce planning, public understanding, inspection and a delivery system to promote strong local and national leadership.

Act swiftly

Children’s minister Baroness Morgan last week promised that the government would act swiftly in responding to the final recommendations.

A review of the cost-effectiveness and roles of three national delivery bodies involved in social work improvement – Skills for Care, the Social Care Institute for Excellence, and the General Social Care Council – is expected to be published next month.

Ministers announced the formation of the taskforce in December 2008 to review the social work profession in children’s and adults’ services.


Places are still available for the Social Work Task Force and Beyond: Rising to the Challenges conference in London on Thursday, 3 December. This event provides the first opportunity to discuss the findings of the report with key figures including Phil Hope, care services minister; Baroness Morgan, children’s minister; and Moira Gibb, chair of the taskforce.

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External information

Social Work Task Force

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