Social workers in England will be under a new regulator from 2 December 2019, the children’s minister announced today.
In a speech to directors of children’s services in Manchester, Nadhim Zahawi said the launch of Social Work England was an important step in helping improve social work practice and meet the government’s ambitions for the profession.
“Subject to continued progress, I expect Social Work England to take over from The [Health and Care Professions’ Council] as the regulator of social workers in England on the 2nd December this year,” Zahawi said.
He said the regulator would establish new standards for social work education “providing protection to the public and helping to prepare new social workers more effectively than ever before”.
Both Zahawi and Social Work England were clear that the successful launch on this date depended on continued progress towards a smooth transition for social workers.
Chief executive of Social Work England Colum Conway welcomed the announcement.
“As a social worker, I understand the positive impact that professionals have on millions of people. I also understand the complexity of the work and the competing priorities in the role,” he said. “That is why we are putting collaborative working at the heart of all we do and our recent consultation on rules and standards was just one example of this.”
“Over the course of the year we will continue to work with the HCPC to ensure an efficient and smooth transition. We are also committed to exploring new approaches that offer responsive and proportionate regulation – empowering professionals to be the very best they can be,” Conway added.
The new social work regulator was announced initially in 2016 by then education secretary Nicky Morgan as part of a host of reforms to the profession, and was then enshrined in law in the Children and Families Act 2017.
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