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A new era for social work in England

Social Work England has today set out how it will help people to get the best possible support from over 100,000 social workers.

A new era for social work in England

5/5/2020 2:00:00 PM

Social Work England has today set out how it will help people to get the best possible support from over 100,000 social workers.

The specialist regulator for social workers in England has published its first corporate strategy, which it hopes will mark a new era for the profession.

The three-year plan has been developed in collaboration with a range of partners, social workers and people with lived experience, and sets out five key areas for activity and impact. It aims to deliver radically different regulation, raise standards and improve confidence in the sector.

Social Work England will work to make sure that regulation is responsive, fair, and effective, recognising the complex landscape in which social workers operate. It has launched new standards for education providers, aimed at improving consistency in the quality of training for students. This will help to ensure that the right people are entering the profession and leave their training ready to meet their professional standards and provide the highest level of support to those who might need it.

Colum Conway, Chief Executive of Social Work England, said:

"We recognise that social workers are currently facing pressure like never before due to COVID-19. We acknowledge that we, as an organisation, have a unique view of social work in England and remain committed to influencing the conversation on the collective response required by the profession in months that lie ahead. Our long-term strategy focuses on enabling professionals and education providers to work flexibly to support those in society when they need it the most.

“I would like to thank the thousands of social workers, partners and people with lived experience who have played such an active role in helping to shape our approach. We will continue to work with those who have an interest in social work as we develop and deliver our strategy.

“I’m confident that our plans are the beginning of the change we have been established to achieve: better professional regulation for social work, raising practice standards, improving the value placed on social work as a profession and ultimately having a positive impact on people’s lives.”

Natalie Yarrow has been involved with Social Work England as an expert by experience for over a year. Talking about why she wanted to get involved with Social Work England and help shape the organisation, she said:

“I am passionate about promoting equality and diversity and have been on both sides of the social work profession, from training to be one and then to needing support myself. Safe to say I faced some positive and not-so-positive experiences. I wanted to co-produce Social Work England’s activities to ensure inclusivity. Without doubt, it was the new regulator’s open-mindedness and keenness to collaborate that inspired me to get involved. They’ve started with a clean sheet, giving people with lived experience of social work the opportunity to play an active role in the organisation.”

Read the corporate strategy and business plan.