Care review urges national social work pay scales to reward expertise and boost retention

Review recommends 'vastly improved' learning and development offer through five-year early career framework, culminating in qualification as 'expert practitioner', plus action to tackle admin burden to boost direct work

Care review lead Josh MacAlister
Care review lead Josh MacAlister

By Mithran Samuel and Rob Preston (story updated)

What would most improve child protection in England?

  • Lower caseloads for child protection social workers (63%, 701 Votes)
  • Setting up expert multi-agency units to handle all child protection cases (16%, 184 Votes)
  • Improved multi-agency working without setting up expert units (6%, 69 Votes)
  • Improved practice in the police, health and/or other agencies (5%, 61 Votes)
  • Improved training and supervision for child protection social workers (5%, 53 Votes)
  • Ring-fencing child protection casework for "expert" social workers (5%, 52 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,120

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The government must introduce national pay scales for social workers, tied to a “vastly improved” learning and development offer, to boosts skills, reward expertise and retain staff in practice, the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care said today.

The Department for Education-commissioned review’s final report called for the introduction of a five-year early career framework for practitioners on qualification, with progression, and pay, tied to knowledge and skills. These would be assessed in year two – replacing the assessed and supported year in employment – and year five, culminating in qualification as an “expert practitioner”.

The review said that, in future, this status would be required to undertake certain social work tasks, specifically recommending that it be mandatory for carrying out section 47 child protection enquiries.

In a statement to the House of Commons today, children’s minister Will Quince said he backed the early career framework in principle and pledged “robust plans to refocus the support social workers receive early on – with a particular focus on child protection given the challenging nature of this work”.

Welcoming the review, he said the Department for Education (DfE) would produce a fuller response and implementation strategy before the end of the year, alongside its response to the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel’s report into learning from the deaths of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes and Star Hobson, published on 26 May.*

‘Inexcusably high’ use of agency staff ‘must reduce’

The long-awaited report also urged the introduction of rules to reduce the “inexcusably high” use of agency social work staff, as well as tackling “excess cost and profiteering” by agencies. This should include the government funding councils to set up not-for-profit staff banks that would become the first port of call for temporary workers.

The review also set a target of increasing the proportion of local authority registered social workers who are case holding from two-thirds to 75%, and increase, from an estimated third to a half, the amount of social work time spent with families. This would be through “reimagining” case management systems to “drastically reduce” the amount of time social workers spent case recording and national and local action to tackle rules and processes that kept practitioners away from direct work.

The care review’s proposals would also cut the number of hand-offs between teams by merging targeted early help and child in need services into a single ‘family help’ service.

Need for ’empowered workforce’

Overall, the review recommended the government plough £253m over the next four years into pay, development and cutting bureaucracy for social workers.

“The entire approach advocated by this review is reliant upon an empowered workforce,” said the report. “The recommendations set out by this review depend upon well supported, confident and trusted practitioners who have the knowledge and skills to meet the needs of children and families.”

Care review: key social work recommendations

  • A five-year early career framework, with social workers assessed on their knowledge and skills after year 2 (replacing the assessed and supported year in employment) and year five, tied to a “vastly improved” professional development offer.
  • National pay scales tied to progression through the framework and designed to reward skills, provide an alternative career path to management and boost retention. These should be applied to agency social worker rates.
  • Expert practitioner status for those who pass the framework, added to their Social Work England registration, and, in future, made a requirement for carrying out certain tasks, including section 47 child protection enquiries.
  • Action to raise quality of initial social work education, including through Social Work England oversight of practice educators and a government evaluation of university-based social work courses.
  • All registered social workers to spend 100 hours a year at front line doing client facing work, to ensure managers are more rooted in practice.
  • A target of 75% of registered local authority practitioners being case-holding, up from two-thirds now, and for 50% of social work time to be spent with families, up from an estimated one-third currently.
  • Case management systems to be “reimagined” to “drastically reduce” the amount of time social workers spend case recording.
  • Rules to reduce overuse of agency staff including restrictions on who can be hired and stricter adherence to regional agreements, plus funding to help councils set up not-for-profit staff banks that would be their first port of call for hiring temporary staff.
  • Remove requirement, under Working Together to Safeguard Children, for social workers to lead the assessment of children in need. Instead, family help work – which would encompass child in need and targeted early help cases – would be held by a wider workforce, as part of multidisciplinary teams. Social workers would supervise all work with families.
  • Social workers to have devolved budgets to provide practical support to families in need without the need for managerial sign-off.
  • Independent reviewing officer role abolished and replaced with high-quality independent advocacy for children in care or care proceedings, overseen by the Children’s Commissioner for England.

At the heart of the report is a drive to shift the balance of children’s social care away from intervening late in response to crisis and investigating families towards earlier intervention and greater support.

Its proposals, the review said, would reduce by about 30,000 the number of children in the care system in England by 2032 compared with current trends, which would see this figure reach almost 100,000, up from just over 80,000 last year. It would also save money over the longer term.

Introducing the report, review lead Josh MacAlister – the former chief executive of social work training organisation Frontline – said the review’s proposals were “rooted in the belief that society’s first task is to care for children”.

“To do this our children’s social care system must get alongside and strengthen the families and communities that children grow up in, and that are often the source of love and belonging,” he added. “This is a simple idea that has proved notoriously difficult to realise.”

£2bn more to help families 

Key to this would be the creation of family help services, merging early help and child in need provision, offering families “much higher levels of meaningful support”, backed by an additional £2bn over the next five years, targeting about half a million children needing extra support.

While councils would retain responsibility for these services, they would be delivered by a multidisciplinary workforce – with domestic abuse, substance misuse, mental health practitioners and family support staff working alongside social workers. Social workers would supervise all practice with families, but would no longer necessarily lead cases, as is currently required by Working Together to Safeguard Children.

Services would also be based in community settings that families trust, such as schools and family hubs, rather than council offices.

The injection of cash would help rebalance a system that has seen a much greater proportion flow into late intervention services from early intervention over the past decade, meaning more than £1bn a year is spent on family help by 2030 compared with now.

These teams would stay involved with a family should concerns about significant harm to a child emerge, but a family help social worker would then co-work the case with an expert practitioner specialising in child protection, who would also take on the role of child protection conference chair.

Need for ‘expert’ child protection practitioners

The review said this would enable a “just and decisive” child protection response.

“Child protection social work requires experienced, knowledgeable and skilled social workers, who are able to weigh up evidence, take tough decisions and have sensitive and life changing conversations with families,” it said. “They need to analyse information from different sources, identify patterns and hold multiple possible scenarios in mind, test these against the evidence and meaningfully engage with a child, their parents, wider family and friends and other professionals.

“This could be to decide what to make of bruising to a child that a parent claims was an accident, or understanding whether coercive control is present in a relationship.”

In making this recommendation, the review rejected the idea of splitting family support and child protection in order to tackle what it saw was an inherent tension between the two local authority activities.

“We have concluded that these activities must exist together, because risk is dynamic and structural changes separating the two may make the system less safe,” said the review. “However, by combining a broad category of family help focused on providing support, with a distinctive expert role that co-works where there is a risk of significant harm to children, we create enough distance between the two functions, whilst also enabling continuity of relationships and avoiding handoffs between services.”

Investment in kinship care

The report also urged significant investment in family and friends care as an alternative to children being looked after outside of their family network. Families would have an entitlement to a family group conference, prior to a case reaching pre-proceedings, so they could develop an alternative family-led plan before a council sought a care order.

Where this were agreed, the child would not become looked after but be cared for under a “family network plan”, with “appropriate local authority oversight” and funding to support the extended family to care for the child.

The review also made a number of recommendations to improve support for kinship carers, including by providing financial allowances to special guardians or kinship carers with child arrangement orders; extending legal aid in the family courts to all kinship carers and those seeking to become such, and providing kinship carers with paid leave from work.

‘Fixing broken market’

As widely anticipated, the review also included plans to “fix” the “broken market” for placements for children in care, in order to tackle the insufficiency of provision and what the review described as “profiteering” by large children’s homes and fostering providers.

At the heart of this would be the creation of regional care co-operatives – which all local authorities would have to join – that would plan and commission fostering, residential and secure care across their areas.

These would have a much greater “grip” on the market than individual local authorities, leading to “substantial reductions” in profits and tackle the “sufficiency crisis”, ensuring that more children were found homes close to their families and communities where in their best interests.

These would become fully operational by 2025 under the review’s proposals, with the more immediate shortage of placements tackled by a £76m drive to recruit 9,000 foster carers from 2023-26.

Though the review did not back caps on profits or prices, investment in the care system should be pump-primed by a windfall tax on the 15 largest private residential care and independent fostering providers.

The review also called for new universal care standards, which would ensure that all looked-after children received care up to the age of 18. This is, controversially, only a requirement up to the age of 16, with legislation allowing those aged 16 and 17 to be placed in currently unregulated accommodation and government plans to regulate this sector from next year only pledging to require services to provide ‘support’, not care.

Care experience ‘should be protected characteristic’

The review also called for improved life chances for care leavers, including by making care experience a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010, in order to tackle discrimination and stigma and boost opportunities.

It also recommended action to ensure that no young person leaves care without at least two loving relationships, including through better maintenance of links with family and a new lifelong guardianship order, enabling a care leaver and a loving adult to form a lifelong bond.

It also urged improved employment opportunities for care leavers – including by councils and the NHS setting workforce targets – and action to improve access to university and apprenticeships and to reduce, and eventually eliminate, care leaver homelessness.

Government pledges to ‘dramatically reform’ social care

In response to the review, education secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “This is the start of a journey to change the culture and dramatically reform the children’s social care system…This report will be central in taking forward our ambition to ensure every child has a loving and stable home and we will continue working with experts and people who have experienced care to deliver change on the ground.”

He added: “We are ready to meet the challenge set by this review and I will set out my plans for bold and ambitious change in the coming months.”

Echoing the review’s own priorities, Quince, in his statement to the Commons, said his three priorities were to:

  1. Improve the child protection system to keep children safe from harm as effectively as possible.
  2. Support families to care for their children, so that they can have safe, loving and happy childhoods which set them up for fulfilling lives.
  3. To ensure that there are the right placements for children in the right places, so that those who cannot stay with their parents grow up in a safe, stable and loving home.

The DfE will respond fully to the report later in the year. However, as well as accepting in principle the plan for an early career framework for social workers, the DfE accepted MacAlister’s call for a national children’s social care framework – setting objectives and measures of success for the system. It also pledged to set up a national board to oversee reform, which would include sector experts and care-experienced people.

The DfE also said it would work with local authorities to recruit more foster carers. It also announced extended funding for pilots placing social workers in schools and providing social work supervision to school designated safeguarding leads, and for family hubs, which provide a range of support services to families in local areas.

*The story has been amended to state that the government will deliver its full response to the review before the end of the year, as set out in Will Quince’s statement. It initially stated that it would provide a fuller response to the review alongside the Child Safeguarding Review Panel report into the deaths of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes and Star Hobson, published on 26 May. But ministers have said they will deliver a fuller response to both later in the year.

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35 Responses to Care review urges national social work pay scales to reward expertise and boost retention

  1. Jane Collins May 23, 2022 at 1:08 am #

    I did some data analysis with a major news network just before the pandemic hit. A minimum of 8K foster carers are lost every year with thousands on hold too. The recruitment drive is a drop in the ocean. Especially given the fact that the report offers zero to improve retention.

    The £82 million for the Fostering Network Mockingbird model is ludicrous given the research showing the limitations and restrictions of the program. Beyond disappointed that The Fostering Network have failed to champion protection for foster carers in favour of their own scheme.

    Increased “automatic”:delegated authority for foster carers does not state a differentiation for children on an interim care order or Section 20 so this appears to infringe on parents rights. The removal of the IRO for an opt out advocacy option is frankly terrifying and a huge infringement on children’s rights and protection for the voice of birth families. I frequently represent fostering families who have been told not to get involved or get an advocate for a child.

    How unexpected that the “independent” review by ” pure coincidence” has recommended a number of changes the current government has been trying to force through for years (with a number of ideas from preferred businesses thrown in for good measure).

  2. Kitty May 23, 2022 at 7:29 am #

    Same old , same old … tinkering with everything, nothing is actually that new in these suggestions….and surprise surprise, the one additional layer of scrutiny on behalf of children…the IRO service cut. What a disappointing waste of time and money this Review has sadly proven to be.

    • David May 23, 2022 at 11:29 am #

      I’m not sure that these recommendations – not just the ones summarised in the CC article, but in the report itself – can fairly be called tinkering (you might disagree with them, but are they not at least substantial?). I’ve not read the whole final report yet, but the coverage here, and in the Guardian, and by the BBC, do suggest some pretty big changes are in the offing.

      What new suggestions would you have liked to see in the report that haven’t been included?

      • Sandra May 23, 2022 at 8:55 pm #

        Comitting the Governmet to fully fund the recommendations for a start. But then didn’t MacAlister agree to chair the review promising it would be “cost neutral” so no real surprise there.

  3. Diane Galpin May 23, 2022 at 8:10 am #

    These comments are interesting, not least because the author has received millions in tax payers monies over the last decade to set up a programme designed to address recruitment and retention of social workers and to ‘ improve ‘ the quality of social workers , whom the author perceived to be the reason for the ‘failure’ of social workers to protect children.

    Financed by powerful backers ( Global Consultants, Gove,Trowler,Ark et al) Frontline was always designed to develop a network of ‘elite’ voices, voices
    formed via a network of global consultants, private and political power brokers, not social workers. This network now control the future of social work

    There is nothing in the review that any social worker on the actual frontline has not said, yet their voice has, and still is, consistently ignored….

    A decade on this powerful elite are part of the problem not the solution, the focus on ‘poor’ quality social workers’ diverted attention away from the structural issues , a lost decade for all those children , but nothing has been lost by those who have prospered , the private providers, the consultancies, the global corporations …..

    There is nothing ‘independent’ about this review .

    • Miss K D May 25, 2022 at 8:42 pm #

      I couldn’t agree more with you.

  4. Diane Galpin May 23, 2022 at 8:24 am #

    Interesting the focus on recruitment , retention and education of Social Workers … strange that given the ‘independent’ review lead himself was raked by Micheal Gove to address these issues over a a decade ago.

    Frontline has received millions in taxpayer money to address these issues, does this mean they have failed??

    At least the recommendations appear to ensure Mr MacAlisters future is secure , unlike the children and families supposedly at the heart of this review ….

    If only Govt had imposed Munro’s recommendations and actually listened to the social workers on the actual frontline, we might not have lost a decade in which childrens lives could have been transformed …

  5. Andy May 23, 2022 at 8:53 am #

    Curious. When I was a NALGO shop steward, we used to negotiate a National Pay rate, we had pay increments that kicked in with experience. This all changed, led by the London Labour Council in Camden when they got overexcited by the notion of “rewarding” us locally. Unison is not blameless in this either.

    • Christine May 25, 2022 at 5:33 pm #

      I was on strike for 9 months in 1978-9 in order for the government to bring in a national pay grade, which happened. In this new world it takes a review that reflects the governments views to reinvent the wheel

    • Simon Cardy May 26, 2022 at 1:57 pm #

      Let’s deal with the hear and now Andy. We still have nationally negotiated pay scales (Spinal Column Points) with 5-6 annual pay increments . Granted which grade you end up on depends on your local Single Status Agreement (see my other post below). In these proposals ASYEs will get stuck on their grade unless the suceed in progressioin to an ‘expert’ grade but will have to wait at least three years. Currently they can progress onto the next grade after one year subject to passing ASYE which 99% do. These proposals are detrimental for NQSWs.

      • Andy May 27, 2022 at 12:40 pm #

        I wouldn’t be that certain Simon. Where I work everybody has their pay determined by a “performance assessment” submitted by their supervisor to a panel chaired by the PSW. Nobody gets an annual increment automatically. Social work is full of inconvenient truths isn’t it?

        • Simon Cardy May 27, 2022 at 8:50 pm #

          Ouch, now that does sounds crap! especially if you have a poor working relationship with your manager. Agree, performance related increments have been creeping in, you are right about that but not in my local authority as yet but are present in various forms in neighbouring authorities. We have – as no doubt you have – seen steady deterioation of T&Cs in other forms e.g introduction of 5/7 working, abolition of car allowances etc, etc on top of the 15-20% overall loss in the value of public sector pay in last 12 yrs, not that MacAlister is remotely interested in this sort of detail.

  6. TiredSocialWorker May 23, 2022 at 9:00 am #

    I expect there will be lots of criticism of the report from the usual judgemental, closed minded and defensive social workers that are prevalent in our profession. We love to moan about the state of the system but do nothing about it. This report makes a lot of sense and but I guess lots of people won’t look past who led it. It really reflects what both children and practitioners are saying. We now have to worry how the government will manipulate the recommendations and complete screw them up.

    • Celina May 24, 2022 at 9:53 am #

      I am that “judgemental, closed minded and defensive” social worker. But then I have actually read the report not just the article. Actually the person who led this review does matter. He us the one that agreed no extra funding with Gavin Williamson so don’t blame “the government” if it doesn’t cough up. Also wasn’t the multimillions paid to get Frontline to improve our training and competence?

    • Simon Cardy May 26, 2022 at 7:45 pm #

      Please dont conflate legitimate critism with moaning. The report is fixated with ‘too much bureaucracy’ but make no attempt anywhere to present evidence and refuses to provide any examples of what is necessary and what could be made redundant. What there is is based on survey’s of general opinion. That is not robust research. The report claims that the the Early Career Framework will reduce the LAC and CP numbers based on a complete misprepretation of a DfE evalauation of NAAS and it only mentions workloads 5 times about which it presents no evidence or analysis. Social workers have been deliberately marginalised as have a signficant part of the care experienced community. Yes we do have to worry about the governmnets response agree on that but probably for entirely different reasons than yours.

  7. TVOSW May 23, 2022 at 1:32 pm #

    The people in charge at every level have no connection to ‘real life’. The system purposefully makes it easy to ‘other’ people.

    Government needs to be held to account, local authority leaders need to be held to account and system design needs to come from the minds of brilliant social work academics and people.

    End austerity, end awful media portrayal of the poor, join the dots between government down to abuse.

    Take a deep breath, admit mistakes and re-evaluate the design. People designed statutory social work and the current design comes straight out of the heartless Thatcher play book.
    Billionaires hoarding money whilst children use food banks.
    Social workers need to be radical (not a scary word) and have easy ways to challenge local authority leaders…in my experience they are not present and hide from their own workforce’s – or the workforce is so dumbstruck and brown nosed that they create a blissful false reality that all is fine for vulnerable people.

  8. Rebecca May 23, 2022 at 2:25 pm #

    The review makes sensible suggestions, in fact its a bit boring. Most are suggestions made many times before or suggestion that things go back to way they used to be, such as non social work staff completing child in need assessments.

  9. Bec May 23, 2022 at 3:06 pm #

    There was a reason why IROs were devised – I remember team managers chairing reviews and simply signing off their own decisions, children never involved in the meeting.

    Did the Care Review actually read the (admittedly limited) research around IROs? Guess what, I have! With the exception of Narey’s report which can hardly be called research if you read it with an academically critical eye, everyone else has suggested a strengthening of the role not a scrapping of it.

    • Bec May 23, 2022 at 3:13 pm #

      I am also concerned that Local Authorities cannot recruit social workers full stop – how are they going to recruit those with 5 plus years experience for child protection?

      • Diane Galpin May 24, 2022 at 12:09 am #

        Indeed, especially since research suggests retention of social workers is based on intrinsic satisfaction, and feeling valued, in a meaningful manner not financial. Bankers and brokers derive value through extrinsic factors such as financial reward not social workers.

        This is basic knowledge and demonstrates the review teams limited understanding of social workers, and why they do the job.

        If they do not understand this there is little hope of understanding how to fix the problem.

        But I guess this is the review outcome one would expect given the lead for the review is an entrepreneur rather than a social worker on the real frontline!

      • Helena Peach May 24, 2022 at 6:19 am #

        Great point…Many experienced social workers are leaving the profession for obvious reasons.
        The review repeats recommendations that were made over the last 20 plus years. Unfortunately, deep down we all know this review will gather dust and nothing will happen. Until the government funds children’s social care adequately, there will be no change and the problems will worsen.

      • Tinat May 24, 2022 at 11:30 pm #

        The IRO’s will need the work!!

  10. Brenda May 24, 2022 at 7:14 am #

    High caseloads and poor working conditions prevent us from effecting positive change in families and forming vital relations with children to better safeguard them, not poorly trained social workers. Let’s stop the blame games not make it harder to get staff by way of a bank. It’s be tried before and didn’t work! Pay should increase and this might deter workers from going agency. We need to look at the culture and the bureaucracy of duplication which we are drowning in not blaming poorly trained social worker but lowing caseloads to a manageable level.

  11. Anony May 24, 2022 at 10:46 am #

    By only having ‘Expert’ social workers completing s.47 encourage those with 5yrs experience to complete the ‘Expert’ qualification?
    Ultimately are there many experienced social workers with 5+yrs still working front line CP?

    • Elise May 25, 2022 at 8:14 pm #

      No there isn’t who wants to work for local authorities that don’t and will never value good staff. Pilling on the work NQSW being put upon and no one in the teams for them to have buddies. One authority has lost quality staff due to poor management and extreme pressures. Ofsted visited recently and I am astounded to see emails saying how well they feel the inspection went. If it did then it’s just ridiculous. I agree with another post just give the money to the families thousands wasted on AD and director salaries for incompetence

  12. dk May 24, 2022 at 4:14 pm #

    Not far off a decade into the role and increasingly jaded by it (in particular by becoming a deputy/assistant manager in a CFA/CiN/CP team just over a year ago), I more and more often find myself wondering if children would be better off if all of the money ploughed into social workers was just given to them and their families directly and the system completely done away with.

    • Rebecca May 25, 2022 at 5:11 pm #

      12 years on the job and absolutely agree with this.

  13. sara r May 24, 2022 at 4:56 pm #

    Try being an independent practice educator qualified since 1986 and 33% pay cut 7 years ago.
    Having to pay tax, insurance and all the other outgoings for £10 a day per student on placement. Earning well below the minimum wage when supporting a failing student.
    What price the training of our workforce?

  14. Anonymous May 25, 2022 at 6:40 am #

    The pay freeze left social workers £5k per years worse off. Rectifying that government mistake would help.

  15. Tony May 25, 2022 at 1:05 pm #

    You can’t rely on the Government that burned it all down to suddenly switch gears and fix all the problems that they either caused or exacerbated. This review is a total waste of time

  16. Simon Cardy May 26, 2022 at 1:36 pm #

    On the question of ‘National pay scales tied to progression’ there is one fundamental issue about which I suspect MacAlister has been told about but has chosen to ignore and that is the local government SINGLE STATUS AGREEMENT.

    A pay review body may come up with the best thing since sliced bread but each and every new job description in any local authority will have to go firstly through a job evaluation process and secondly approved by a local panel.

    Due to the fact that employers use different job evaluation schemes this will result in some ‘expert’ social workers being paid on scales different from that of their ‘expert’ colleagues in a neighbouring authority, it will result in the very problem that the Review is seeking to address ending up in the very sanme place we are at now. It cannot impose a new national payscale without first making a statement as to how it proposes to address the SINGLE STATUS AGREEMENT. In short a new natioinal pay scale is pie in the sky in my view.

    The government could of course respond by saying the only way to achieve a national pay structure would be to take social workers out of JNC national bargaining which the author of thos post and many other trade unionists in local government would strongly oppose tooth and nail. The other concern is that without the necessary ‘knowledge’ required at present to undertake S47 and hold child protection cases etc, new JDs for early career/NQSWs social workers could see a deterioation in pay and conditions until they can access the ‘expert’ grades (assuming they would be improved which I doubt).

    In ther meantime, I would urge all social workers to raise these issues with their Trade Union and join one recognised by local authorities for collective bargaining purposes i.e. UNISON, UNITE, GMB if you are not a member.

  17. Beth May 28, 2022 at 2:31 am #

    I left children’s sw as my skills in intensive intervention and prevention were not what was required. Courts wanted cases brought early with tight time frames.

    Ethically I felt this was wrong for some families who needed skilled work.

    Heavy handed finger pointing social work was being hailed! Look at things now! Too many children in a broken care system. Outcomes no better or even worse than if they had stayed with family. Kinship care underfunded.

    I will never go back and resent what is happening in social work in general where skills and experience are being lost to poor working conditions, pay and pressure brought on by toxic inexperienced high achievers who want to race up the career ladder without practice experience.

  18. Karen May 28, 2022 at 7:55 am #

    I read here not long ago about a 24 year old Team Manager. Who I can only assume must have had a couple of years practice experience.

    Lack of social work experience in any team alongside lack of quality training in the job due to drastic budget cutting means lack of understanding about how to do the job.

    Meanwhile fear of ofsted means many workers focus on audits – meaning placing targets and stats over quality work.

    During the pandemic these targets and stats were easier to achieve due to the majority of the job being behind a screen.

    The quality and understanding about what the work entails is simply just not there.

  19. Tom May 30, 2022 at 11:59 am #

    Deeply concerned about continued lack of consistency and failure to evaluate systems thoroughly reflected in this report.
    There are risks in abandoning the support offer and continuous assessment of NQSWs in ASYE year programmes.
    PQ Standards already require Knowledge and Skills to be evident and tested from the start of practice.
    This comes so soon after expensive national assessment and accreditation system (NAAS) for accrediting 2nd year+ practitioners is terminated, which sought to do much of this.
    The former early career framework (‘Early Development Programme’) was also phased out due to insufficient national recognition and support.
    National registration and recognition for practice educators is well overdue but with no guarantee of changes to pay status.
    The government already oversee SW programmes through Ofsted. What other professions have central government directly ‘evaluating’ their education?

  20. been doingittoolong June 10, 2022 at 12:43 pm #

    Too many people telling us what to do and not enough people doing it. Need to increase pay & status of social workers