Dropped memo reveals Phil Hope’s views on social care

Care services minister Phil Hope thinks that social work regulation is not as rigorous as health regulation, a memo seen by Community Care reveals.

The government’s position was revealed in an internal briefing note given to Hope by an official, which he dropped during today’s (3 December) Community Care conference: The Taskforce and Beyond.

The note stated: “Social workers re reg. every three years to GSCC (General Social Care Council).

“They sign a declaration of fitness and pay renewal fee. Problem is that this is not as rigorous as health regulation.”

It went on to say the government is looking into how it could tighten up the regulations surrounding social workers along the lines recommended by the taskforce.

The note added that the government is keen to endorse a probationary year for all social workers.

The Social Work Task Force recommended that renewal of registration as a social worker should be “urgently reviewed” and made more demanding and should include clear evidence of how the learning undertaken has led to improvements in practice. This should also be linked to career pathways.

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