The government has published what it believes all social workers must know to help children in or entering care find permanent placements.
The Knowledge and Skills Statement for achieving permanence sets out how social workers should:
- Decide on the best permanence option
- Negotiate the legal process
- Help children find permanence without unnecessary delay
- Support children and families in transition and support the placement
- Manage disruption and breakdown
The final version was published last week following a consultation.
Unlike the original Knowledge and Skills Statement for all social workers, introduced last year, this will not form the basis of any test for social workers to be able to practice. However, an optional training scheme to “sharpen” permanency skills has been announced, and will be based off of this skills statement.
Social work organisations and charities that responded to the consultation “welcomed” the plans, the government said.
“Many recognised the content of the statement as representing what child and family social workers need to know and be able to do in order to achieve permanence for children,” it said.
Changes were made to language in the statement following the consultation.
“The word ‘quickly’ in section 3 has been replaced ‘within a timeframe which meets the child’s best interests’,” the government’s consultation response said.
“The statement now reflects a greater focus on the need to listen to the child and take account of their views in decision making.”
Isabelle Trowler, the chief social worker for children, said it was crucial that the statement “reflects everything a child and family social worker must know and be able to do in order to successfully undertake permanence planning”.
“The publication of this statement represents a key milestone toward the development of a permanence CPD programme. The CPD offer is important in promoting depth of practice in this key area of child and family social work and for building confidence in the workforce,” she said.