Social Work England (SWE), the UK’s watchdog for children’s social care, would like feedback from child welfare-experienced families about its proposals to improve how social workers are regulated.

SWE have said they would like to hear from children, families, members of the public, other professional regulators and any organisation or individual engaged in social work.

The consultation — which has been set up as a survey — is asking for thoughts on several technical changes SWE is looking to make to the Social Workers Regulations 2018.

Researching Reform will be sending in a submission about a current loophole which allows unqualified or unregistered individuals engaging in social work to evade registration and regulation.

The document for the consultation says the proposals are intended to provide “benefits to children, families, adults and wider society as a result of the proposed changes which support the regulator in its overarching public protection objective” and to “allow Social Work England to improve its existing flexible model of professional regulation to secure public protection, foster professionalism, and ensure standards of practice.”

The consultation’s introduction also explains that each of the proposed changes seeks to do one of the following:
• give greater clarity to the regulator’s processes; or
• remove operational inefficiencies identified by the regulator and/or the Department for Education; or
• correct unintended anomalies in the original drafting.

The key areas in social worker regulation being addressed are:

  • A duty to cooperate with other regulators
  • The registration of social workers
  • Discipline and fitness to practise proceedings
  • Powers of intervention
  • Other legislation which needs to be amended to improve regulation
  • Listed offences which allow SWE to strike off a social worker without launching a fitness to practice hearing

A very helpful table is added which offers a list of all the propose changes, explained in clear and straightforward language.

The draft amendments are included after the table.

The survey can be accessed here.

If you are unable to access the online survey, you can email your submission to:

Submissions can also be sent by post:

Social Work England Consultation
Department for Education
2 St Paul’s Place
S1 2FJ

The consultation closes on 11 May 2022.

You can access the consultation here.

Many thanks to Jameel Hadi for alerting us to this consultation.

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