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Raise a concern

Raise a concern about a social worker

This page is for people who want to raise a concern about a social worker.

If your concern is not about a social worker, Social Work England will not be able to consider it, but other organisations may be able to help you.

If your concern is about a social work course, you can raise it here.

If the concern is very serious, please tell us about it as soon as possible.

What raising a concern means 

Raising a concern about a social worker means giving us information about something a social worker did, or information about the social worker themselves.

Our role is to investigate concerns that are serious enough to call into question a social worker's fitness to practise.

To help you understand what we mean by 'fitness to practise' you may find it helpful to read our professional standards. The standards set out the requirements that we expect social workers to meet to be 'fit to practise'.

Some concerns cannot be considered by us and are best dealt with by the social worker's employer. Read more about when to raise a concern with an employer directly.

You may also want to read the guidance on how we use personal information when considering concerns.

Whistleblowing

Social Work England is not currently a ‘prescribed person’ for the purposes of the Public interest Disclosure Act 1998. This means that if you raise a concern with us, you are not protected as a whistleblower. If you want to make a protected disclosure (blow the whistle), you can find a list of ‘prescribed persons or bodies’ who you can contact here.

Read more about whistleblowing.

If you want to raise a concern about a social worker, select the option that applies to you:

Member of the public

You should choose this option if you are:

  • a member of the public
  • raising a concern about your own experience with a social worker
  • a carer or raising a concern for a friend or relative
  • a social worker raising a concern about a social work colleague

Before you raise a concern, please read more about what we can and cannot investigate and what information to include in your concern.

You may also want to read about what happens after you’ve raised a concern.

Raise a concern as a member of the public

Manager or employer

This is for managers and employers, including locum agencies, who want to raise a concern about a social worker employee.

Before you raise a concern, please read more about what should be dealt with through your performance or disciplinary process and what we need to investigate.

If you want to raise a concern now, you may want to read more about what information to include in your concern.

Raise a concern as a manager or an employer

On behalf of an organisation

This is for people who need to make a referral on behalf of an organisation. You may be working for the police or another health or social care regulator.

Before you refer a concern, please read more about which issues are likely to raise a concern about a social worker’s fitness to practise and what to include in your referral.

Refer a concern on behalf of an organisation

Do you need any help?

If you're unable to use the online form, raise a concern over the phone or via post.

We want to make sure that our processes are accessible to everyone.

Please let us know if you would like:

  • help to tell us about your concerns
  • any information in another format
  • an adjustment because of disability or injury

You can call us on 0808 196 2274 or email [email protected] to tell us about what you need, or if you have any questions.

Last updated: 27 April 2020