The College of Social Work’s Chair Jo Cleary said: “The College of Social Work is extremely heartened by the Secretary of State’s, Nicky Morgan, clear and explicit support for a strong and confident profession. The proposals about a new assessment and accreditation system for social workers, supervisors and managers who hold statutory child care roles hold real potential for promoting social work excellence in children’s services. They could significantly assist in enhancing the status, standing and standards of social work. As such, they should dovetail with other measures already being progressed to strengthen further the quality of social work practice.
“It is obviously now important to understand the details of these proposals. The College and other stakeholders will be particularly concerned to ensure that any accreditation system connects with, and supports the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF).
Social workers, employers and educators need to have one coherent standards framework. There is strong evidence that the PCF is now well established in initial and post qualifying training, in supervision and also in many employer appraisal systems.
“The College has questions too about how a new accreditation system for children’s social work might be complemented with similar approaches in adult social work. It is vital that there is equity and equivalence across these two connected spheres of our profession.
“We support the importance of social work professional leadership and the proposal to develop accreditation for senior practice leaders is a bold step. However, we will need to understand how this will ‘fit’ with the existing Principal Children and Families Social Worker (PSW) role. The PSW role is now well embedded in most local authorities and we look forward to clarification of this matter.
“Plans to consolidate partnerships between employers and higher education institutions are also a positive step forward. TCSW has been working closely with these partnerships to ensure that social work students are properly prepared for the reality of frontline social work, both in terms of university-based education and practice placements. This new announcement will help to develop this work further.
“Yesterday’s announcement marks an important milestone in a new and potentially exciting era for the social work profession and The College of Social Work looks forward to working with government, employers and other stakeholders on translating these intentions into workable proposals that will support the delivery of first class social work to children and families.”