Another bug bear here at Researching Reform is the lack of robust training for social workers, who are tasked with working on some of the most complex social and psychological difficulties in the world, and now it seems, the Department for Education agrees with us.

In a memorandum the Department submitted to Parliament’s Education Committee, key concerns surrounding the effectiveness of children’s social work reform agenda were highlighted, including the view that too often social workers were poorly trained and not ready for frontline practice.

Other problems identified in the memorandum were the defensive nature of social work practice and an inability to provide innovative and confident practice leadership locally.

That a lack of resources, low morale and high turnover rates were also mentioned is significant – these obstacles to good practice not only have an effect on the way families are treated but directly impact on the culture inside the system. And whilst there are excellent social workers who care, they are still in relative terms, few and far between, unable to make a large scale difference to the sector as a whole and often struggle to achieve best practice due to the current economic constraints.

The memorandum has been submitted as part of the Education Committee’s inquiry into social care reform, and they are looking to gather more views. If you would like to share your thoughts, you can do so here. The deadline for submissions is midday on Friday 4th March, 2016.

social work