Posts Tagged ‘professional practice’

National Continuing Professional Development Conference for Social Workers~14th September 2010

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

The 4th National Continuing Professional Development Conference for Social Workers on the theme of ‘Integrated   Practice’ will be held at the Institute of Psychiatry on 14th September 2010.

 The conference features prominent keynote speakers, engaging workshops and a unique opportunity to network with professional colleagues from across the country.

 

Camila Batmanghelidjh from Kids Company http://www.kidsco.org.uk will be talking about the need for new paradigms of care.

Keynote papers will be given by:

Professor Peter Huxley ( Swansea University ) – Integration of health and social care in mental health services

Professor Nick Frost ( Leeds Metropolitan University ) – Integrated working in frontline children’s services: research, policy and practice

Professor Marian Barnes ( University of Brighton ) – Ethics of care in promoting effective dialogue between workers, service users and carers.

The conference will also feature an interactive plenary session on the theme: “Are families becoming more dangerous?”

Professor Colin Pritchard ( Bournemouth University ) will address the issue of ‘Who kills children?’, based on data presented in his recent British Journal of Social Work paper that hit the headlines.

Attendance at the conference will count towards your GSCC post registration training and learning requirements.

Further information and the online booking form can be found at www.iop.kcl.ac.uk/annualsocialworkconference. Early bird bookings are available until 31st July. All Making Research Count bookings should be made by Learning and Development Managers to janet.noble@kcl.ac.uk.

Abstracts for parallel workshops throughout the day are still being received . If you or a colleague are interested in leading a workshop of relevance to the conference theme, please submit your abstract by 25th June. Full information and an online abstract submission form are available from: www.iop.kcl.ac.uk/annualsocialworkconference.

Any questions? Contact Julie Smith, the conference organiser julie.smith@iop.kcl.ac.uk

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Guest Blog ~ Personalisation – the challenges for social work by Simon Duffy

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

I first met Simon when he accepted an invitation to speak at the Social Workers Educational Trust conference. “Being Inspired by Social Work”. A big thank you to Simon for sharing his thoughts following the Personalisation Conference held in London on the 21st May 2010.

“If we can each work together, accepting our weaknesses, we can make things happen.”

Thus spoke the social worker, reflecting on the tensions that can flare up between those who want to help other people and those they are trying to help. These words beautifully captured the spirit of Friday’s conference, at the Tavistock, on personalisation and social work. The conference organised by Skills for Care, in partnership with the Department of Health and the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust Foundation, focused on exploring changes in the role and responsibilities of the social work practitioner within transformed adult services. 

The event had “hope and purpose”, but it also revealed an array of challenges that face social workers who try to make sense of ‘personalisation’ – a word which is full of meaning and unmeaning. It is hard to remember the purpose of all these personalisation ‘technologies’ (direct payments, individual budgets, self-directed support, peer support etc.). It is very hard to recall, amidst the consultants, government milestones, and official guidance, that these ideas didn’t start in government. These new ways of working were developed by disabled people and by social workers. And they were developed in order to take forward the ambition of social work – to achieve social justice.

Keeping a focus on social justice is hard, but it is essential when it comes to making sense of all the new processes associated with personalisation. Many social workers described the insanity they face working in a system which asks them to keep running the old bureaucratic system, while also setting up and running the new system. Processes are becoming more confused and over elaborate, and they are damaging our ability to respond quickly and sensitively to people’s needs. Sometimes ‘personalisation’ is leading to less personalisation.

Senior managers need to protect their staff from this chaos; but they are struggling to make sense of the overall policy direction. How deep and serious is the government’s commitment to personalisation when these new systems are developed in ways which lack any legal, financial and policy coherence. It is easy to suspect that a system which is being developed without any clear and rational plan will, in time, fade away.

But progress is being made, despite the madness, and we must be optimistic – not because we can expect things to get better – but because we can each take responsibility for making the most of this opportunity to build a fairer world.

Simon Duffy Director of The Centre for Welfare Reform

There are a number of interesting publications which can be downloaded at www.centreforwelfarereform.org

About the author

Dr Simon Duffy is Director of the Centre for Welfare Reform. Simon created Individual Budgets, Self-Directed Support and the Citizenship Model and put these ideas into practice at Inclusion Glasgow and In Control. He was awarded the RSA’s 2008 Prince Albert Medal for his work on personalisation.

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Shape the new College and build a strong voice for social work

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

The official launch of the College of Social Work took place today at Community Care Live. Moira Gibb welcomed the new College as “An opportunity for social work to gain the authoritative and influential professional voice it deserves”

Social workers and people who use social work services are today being encouraged to shape The College of Social Work by taking part in a UK-wide consultation. You can join the online consultation on the College website. Events are also being organised in several regions in England. A total of 22 consultation sessions will be held; twelve events for social work practitioners and managers and ten for users of social work services and carers.

The College of Social Work will start functioning in the coming months; at present the College Development Group is ensuring that those vital contributions are being captured and given to the Interim Board of the College once it is established. The Development Group is overseeing the consultation, which starts today and runs until October.

The College Development Group Chair, Allan Bowman, stated that

“We’ve been looking forward to today because it’s when The College’s work can really begin. We need the input of social workers, people who use social work services and their carers. Their views will shape the way the College is run. We encourage everyone with views to come forward, either at the large number of events organised so that people can discuss their views, or they can go online and help shape their College.”

Some of the issues that can be discussed in the consultation include:

  • Membership
  • Purpose,  functions and activities
  • Working with employers, regulators, and unions
  • Continuing professional development

Through these consultation activities it is hoped that a shared understanding of the purpose and key objectives of the College will be developed, built on the direct contribution of social workers and the people who use social work services. The consultation process will also ensure that the design and plans for the College will meet needs of the profession now and in the future.

Welcoming the College Moira Gibb, Chair of the Social Work Reform Board said:

“A College of Social Work is an opportunity for social work to gain the authoritative and influential professional voice it deserves. It is important that from the outset the College speaks for the breadth of the profession and represents the views of all social workers. This consultation is a major opportunity for the whole sector to set the direction and control the future of the College. I urge all social workers, and those engaged with social work, to take this chance to help shape the future of our profession.”

The College is clear that it wants to have the input of everyone involved from across the UK and that it will cover all aspects of social work.

The College of Social Work website

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Social work practitioners develop a caseload management system

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010


It is really refreshing to read about the contribution made by practitioners to the very challenging area of workload allocation and caseload management. Biri Yaya and Carolyn Cousins are qualified social workers, managers and published authors who take a keen interest in what really makes a difference to supporting front line social workers and practitioners.

This article shares the essence of two case allocation tools developed by the authors and implemented in a local authority. One of the most difficult aspects of front line management is knowing there is yet more work that has to be allocated to an over stretched team. The temptation can be to allocate to those who are willing, or will offer the least resistance. As all managers know, some staff will over commit and agree to take on more, while others will resist work – and these can sometimes be the very staff who the manager suspects are the least busy.

Many social work offices still rely either on a team meeting forum for allocation – where the overworked but committed social worker puts their hand up to take on more, much to the relief of the manager, while others rarely offer to take on anything new, or the alternative system usually relies on the individual manager allocating work based on their own judgment of capacity, gained from the self report of the social workers. Neither of these systems openly or transparently determines capacity.

The Weighted Case Limit sets a standard across all staff in a team or service, it requires a set case load limit and that case weighting be pre-determined. It allows for better informed judgment of worker capacity for allocation. It also helps define and distil the kind of caseload that can assist the worker’s professional development.

The Individual Capacity Planner is tailored to each worker and aims to assess spare capacity. Here work load capacity is determined using a quick case by case analysis, and rather than use case number ceilings the tool examines the amount of time required for each case. This model has been used both in safeguarding and family support contexts. This model relies on social worker report, but it does introduce some analysis and accountability, beyond a simple, ‘I’m too busy’ or ‘I can take another case’.

A systematic approach that takes optimum capacity in the notionally available time and impacting factors have proved to be effective methods of case allocation. Download the full report including an exemplar of caseload weighting here. Tried and Tested Workload Management Allocation Tools

The authors welcome feedback on these approaches and thoughts from practitioners who use them in different contexts.

About the authors

Carolyn Cousins (MSW, MEd (Adult), Dip. Mgt) is a social worker and adult educator who has worked across the statutory, voluntary and health sectors both in the UK and Australia. She is currently the Assistant Director of Education and Training at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Fountain Trust. ccousins@tavi-port.org

Biri Yaya, (PhD, M.S.W) is an experienced qualified social worker and team manager . He has published a number of peer-reviewed articles. biriy@aol.com

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Promoting the health and wellbeing of London’s Looked After Children – Learning from Emerging Practice and Scoping Review Final Report

Friday, March 5th, 2010

young london mattersTwo publications have been launched by the Government office London ~ ‘Promoting the health and wellbeing of London’s Looked After Children – Learning from Emerging Practice and Scoping Review’ documents.

These publications came out of requests (in Spring 2009) for examples of practice from across London that increase positive health outcomes for looked after children, in order to share learning and ideas. The Scoping review provides a snapshot of how London services that promote health and wellbeing of looked after children are currently being developed and delivered.

This is supported by the Emerging Practice guide, which is a collection of examples of practice achieving positive health outcomes for looked after children across London. The case studies have been submitted from London Local Authorities and Primary Care Trusts and focus on practice around:

 Annual Health assessments
 Immunisations and Vaccinations
 Access to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
 Sex and Relationship Education
 Emotional Wellbeing

Download GoL Children in Care Learning from Emerging Practice Guide[1]

Download Children in Care Scoping Review[1]

Hard copies of these publications can be obtained from Amy Wilkinson amy.wilkinson@gol.gsi.gov.uk

Shirley Ayres Consulting were delighted to have been awarded the contract for the scoping review and to have identified so many innovative examples of emerging practice across London.

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Knowledge Management in Social Care – time to embrace the internet?

Friday, January 29th, 2010

manager imageThe internet revolution has transformed the way in which research and professional knowledge can be accessed and used to enhance social work practice and social care services.

But how far has this changed the experiences and perceptions of front-line adult social care staff in relation to research mindedness and professional development in its broadest sense? What are the aspirations of social care staff, and how can employers and managers encourage and support the development of a learning culture within their organisations?

A recent on-line survey of one local authority adult social care workforce highlighted some key issues. This was followed up by two focus groups where a mix of staff from different services discussed the issues raised by the survey in more depth.

Making use of internet resources

The use of the internet was clearly seen as an invaluable source of information for social workers and social care staff – almost equal to training in importance. However knowledge about what’s available via the internet was very variable, and staff didn’t feel supported to spend time exploring this medium. Even in computer dependent field work settings, surfing the net can be seen as a diversion from ‘real’ work. Management fears about social workers accessing Facebook or Ebay instead of completing on-line client records may be one factor. It was also suggested that peer pressure discouraged the use of the internet, especially in direct social care services where access to computers is more limited and culturally there’s a premium on time spent with service users as against office based working.

Discussion in the focus groups highlighted the huge potential for making use of internet resources – if only this could be filtered for relevance so that front-line staff could be directed to information of value as and when they needed it. Certain websites were recommended for easy access to the information needed, whereas others were found to be frustrating to navigate and not particularly helpful. There was a sense that greater access to internet research helped broaden people’s perspectives and increased their focus on outcomes rather than process – surely a critical factor in progress towards personalisation.

Whole team learning

There were a range of ideas about how to focus in on ‘whole team’ learning, rather than the ‘scattergun approach’ to sending individual workers off on training courses.

“Staggered training causes problems with agency cover and it could take a year to have all staff trained on for instance Mental Capacity Act so we are not all working to the same agenda.”

Allocating research and learning tasks within the team were also seen as a positive way forward, with team members presenting information as a basis for team discussions at regular intervals. This would also help to challenge the culture of not being ‘allowed’ to be seen to do internet research.

Another suggestion was that a greater emphasis on the learning and development of team managers would set a tone within the organisation which valued professional progression and training for all staff. Other ideas included the use of ‘information champions’ and more use of external training opportunities.

“I think it would help if we had information champions, people who could be freed up from their work duties to spend time researching specific subjects to pass on to colleagues so that a more thorough overview could be cascaded to work teams”

“I think seminars/workshops would be good.  Funding is an issue, but we need to consider external courses to develop staff.”

Research mindedness

Of those responding to the on-line survey and attending the focus groups, most were clearly committed to learning and professional development, and there was a high level of interest in doing research. However there was a lack of knowledge about  research done by colleagues, and little understanding of developments such as the Research Governance Framework introduced to local authorities some two years ago.

While there were individual stories about the role of research evidence helping to inform policies, strategies and direct work with service users, the idea that this was now the cultural norm within social care remained unconvincing.

“Research is generally done by managers, practitioners are too caught up with the day to day … behind the advice and discussion there is research knowledge – I’m guessing here ….”

Postscript

The Continuing Professional Development strategy and framework[1] developed by Skills for Care, the Children’s Workforce Development Council (CWDC) and other partner agencies is intended to mean changes on the frontline of service delivery. Some very practical steps need to be found to effectively integrate the three critical areas of internet resources, whole team learning and research mindedness identified in this study. This will only be possible when underpinned by determination to support the growth of organisational learning cultures in the arena of professional social care.

About the author Carolyn Barber, BSc (Hons), CQSW, is an independent consultant specialising in research, team development and management skills.  Carolyn has over 25 years experience in social care as practitioner, trainer, researcher and manager, working across public, voluntary and independent sectors. For more information, go to www.wayfinderassociates.co.uk .


[1] http://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/developing_skills/Continuing_Professional_Development/Continuing_Professional_Development_(CPD)_introduction.aspx

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Launch of the Final Report of the Social Work Task Force

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

SWTF Header

 

The formal launch of the final report of the Social Work Task Force will take place on Tuesday 1 December 2009 at Central Hall, Westminster.  This event will be the first opportunity to hear the contents of this report. Registration is required by Thursday 26 November.
This report will set out in detail the recommendations to Government for a programme of comprehensive reform of the social work system in England. Delegates at this event will be the first to hear the contents of the report, as well as a presentation by Moira Gibb, Chair of the Social Work Task Force, and to hear the Government’s response. Members of the Task Force will explore the contents of the report and answer questions. Register here

Indications about the final recommendations:
• The profession needs a stronger, more coherent voice
• A new organisation to support social work which could take the form of a National College for Social Work (interesting to contemplate the future roles of the GSCC, Skills for Care, Children’s Workforce Development Council, Social Care Institute for Excellence and the National Skills Academy for Social Care)
• Different progression routes and career pathways for social work – (management should be one of a number of routes)
• Development of the Advanced Professional Social Worker role
• The importance of high quality CPD (and presumably implications for the current GSCC PRTL)
• A post-qualifying framework which is linked to career progression 
• Support for social workers in improving their basic skills, where required (how basic?)
• Reforms to include guidance on supervision and caseloads
• Recommendations about the ICS and the need for development of IT systems which support social workers as well as providing management information
• A pre-qualifying year and a license to practice
• Closer collaboration between employers and educators (since these partnerships already exist at qualifying and post-qualifying level it will be interesting to see how the recommendations will promote more effective joint working).

Social Work Task Force Website

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What to do about PQ?

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Where do the post qualifying awards for social work fit within the new CWDC and Skills for Care education and training frameworks?

mature students imagesWe will never ensure quality training, support and supervision for social workers without the active commitment of employers. The pressures that many social work teams are under won’t ease unless there is real investment by employers in developing and supporting their workforce.” Rosie Varley Chair GSCC in a speech at the GSCC Annual Conference 2009

If you are one of the thousands of PQ award holders you may be as puzzled as I am about the current low profile of the post qualifying awards. Admittedly there has been only a limited amount of research about the impact upon practice of completing a post qualifying award in social work. However, the findings consistently affirm the value of the awards in developing advanced practitioner skills and knowledge. High quality social work requires high levels of professional expertise – this has been known for many years. The real challenge is how we equip social workers with the skills and knowledge to consistently deliver best practice in social work.. We certainly need more research to identify where best practice is happening and whether practitioners with a post qualifying award are making a difference.

It is worth reading “Supporting and Promoting Advanced Social Work” published by the Institute of Psychiatry/Kings College London available here . This publication provides a number of case studies from former students and employers about the benefits of completing an Advanced Award in Social Work. The MSc in Mental Health Social Work with Children and Adults teaches practitioners innovative skills in mental health social work that are informed by research. Students not only refresh their knowledge and learn and practise new skills – they are also taught to critically appraise relevant empirical research studies and undertake their own original research. Past students have gone on to influence the development of policy and practice in their agencies, been promoted to leadership positions and offered advanced supervision to less experienced colleagues.

The Interim Report of the Social Work Task Force (SWTF) states that “current arrangements for education, training and career progression are not producing – or retaining – enough social workers suited to the full demands of frontline practice”. Research is required to evidence the links between PQ attainment and the recruitment and retention of social workers. “What support is available for my continuing professional development?” is certainly one of the questions that I would be asking a future employer. More information about the work of the Social Work Task force can be obtained here.

Sadly the challenges facing access to Post Qualifying (PQ) education and training have not radically changed over the last ten years. Funding, capacity issues and the lack of a national performance indicator are big disincentives for employers to invest in staff undertaking post qualifying awards in social work. The not for profit sector, with even less access to funding, are struggling to support staff wanting to undertake PQ. This is further complicated by the number of agency social workers employed by local authorities. There is no consistency in the access they have to continuing professional development opportunities.

Recognition or incentives vary considerably amongst employers because PQ is not systemically linked to re-registration, pay structures or workforce development. It is not clear why the Children’s Workforce Development Council (CWDC) did not link the post qualifying awards to the emerging career framework or the Newly Qualified Social Work (NQSW) scheme. I hope that the increased focus on the importance of the Advanced Social Work Practitioner role will provide the necessary impetus for the cultural shift required.

The SWTF Interim Report criticises the current PQ framework for not meeting employers and social workers’ needs for specialisation. Amongst the gaps identified are therapeutic work, emergency duty work and operating in dangerous family environments. A brief look through the London PQ Programmes Directory highlights the diversity of courses available which range from the MSc in Inter-professional Practice through to the Post Graduate Diploma Applied Systemic Theory.

This suggests a problem with the structure of the regional partnerships between employers and universities rather than an unwillingness of the universities to respond to employer demands. The criticism does not seem to take account of the innovative new courses which have been developed by employer and university partnerships including modules on Protecting Vulnerable Children and Personalisation. There is also the reality that universities have to make a business case for developing new programmes – if the demand is there undoubtedly new programmes can be developed. There are costs involved and the numbers may be so small in one region that it may not be financially viable. The growth of eLearning modules increasingly offered by a number of universities may fill the gap. Read about the Research methods and critical appraisal for social workers e-learning short course here

A number of universities have integrated the NQSW outcomes to the post qualifying framework. Arguably, the CWDC and Skills for Care could have demonstrated their commitment to the post qualifying awards by including them in the original brief for developing the NQSW rather than left as an afterthought.

Useful information about PQ including “Making Sense of the Post Qualifying Awards – a brief Guide for London Employers” can be obtained here.

The Social Work Task Force believes that “to be successful the post-qualifying training framework needs to be linked much more explicitly to career structures, progression and Post Registration Training and Learning (PRTL) requirements for registration with the GSCC. Its success will be dependent not only on the standards and quality of the training and materials, but also on the shared engagement of employers and professionals: both sides must make the commitment of time and resources that will be necessary”.

I believe that it is equally important to value and learn from the experiences of the thousands of social workers who have already completed a post qualifying or advanced award in social work.

My top ten suggestions for promoting the post qualifying awards

 A research study to be commissioned to examine the following areas. A quantitative study to determine the number of social workers undertaking, or who have completed, a post qualifying award. A qualitative study to explore the benefits and challenges for employers and social workers of the post qualifying framework. An employer’s study to identify how the achievement of an award is linked to pay scales, career progression and the workforce development strategy.

 The development of an online resource to enable social workers who have completed an original research project as part of their Advanced Award to share their findings.  Maybe this could be hosted by SCIE with a regular feature on Social Care TV? 

 A national communications strategy to promote awareness of the benefits of undertaking a PQ Award. The Social Work Development Partnership to encourage all of the regions to provide a rolling programme of PQ Information Seminars.

 Producing a monthly eLetter which regularly updates all stakeholders about PQ Developments. This could be incorporated into the GSCC Social Work Connections eLetter.

 Making the links between the post qualifying framework and the different initiatives developed by Skills for Care and CWDC to strengthen the recruitment, retention and continuing professional development of social workers. 

 An online survey to be undertaken to determine current levels of awareness and registrations for PQ awards in local authorities, the health service and the private and voluntary sector.

 Social workers who have completed a post qualifying award to be encouraged to become PQ Champions. There is an interesting article about this in the June 2009 London PQ Bulletin

 Information about the range of post qualifying courses to be made more widely available through the development of a National Directory of Post Qualifying Courses  updated annually. The names of universities offering Approved PQ Courses are listed on the GSCC website.  More detailed information about London courses can be downloaded here London PQ Programmes Directory

 A survey to establish what support is being provided by Recruitment Agencies for temporary staff who wish to undertake post qualifying studies. Maybe the Association of Social Work Employment Businesses (ASWEB) could undertake this survey?

And finally an Annual Conference to update employers, practice teachers, front line social workers and people who use services about PQ developments, to celebrate PQ achievements and to promote best practice. You can read about the very successful  conference “Professional Leadership – The Challenge for Advanced Practitioners” which was reported in the April 2008 London PQ Bulletin.

Millions of pounds have been invested in the post qualifying framework over the past fifteen years. Thousands of social workers have invested their time and money in completing a post qualifying award. I hope that the Social Work Task Force will ensure that this investment is embedded into future social work practice.

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How is the GSCC Conduct Committee working in practice – what are the emerging trends?

Sunday, June 1st, 2008

What do the cases that the General Social Care Council (GSCC) has taken to conduct hearings or tribunals tell us about the state of social work practice? How should professional boundaries be managed, especially in the sensitive area of sexual relationships? How are complainants supported and how are conduct issues assessed?

The GSCC is the social care workforce regulator and “guardian of standards” for the social care workforce in England. It is responsible for regulating the codes of practice, the Social Care Register and qualifying and post qualifying social work education and training.

The Codes of Practice for Social Care Workers and Employers describe the standards of conduct and practice within which employers of social care workers and staff should work. The codes require that employers adhere to the standards set out in their code, support social care workers to meet their professional responsibilities and take appropriate action when workers do not meet expected standards of conduct. The codes mean that the social care sector has similar regulation to doctors and nurses.

Registered social care workers who breach the codes could be removed from the Social Care Register, while employers who break them could face sanctions.

A workshop at the recent GSCC Annual Conference gave an interesting insight into what happens when social workers breach the code and are reported for misconduct.

The work of the GSCC’s Conduct Group centres around maintaining and raising professional standards to ensure that applicants to, and people on, the Social Care Register:

  • are suitable to be a registered social worker 

    work safely in social care

    are held accountable for their practice and conduct

Is the regulation of Conduct working?

Between 1st April 2003 and 31st March 2008 the work of the Conduct Group has led to:

214 refusals to join the Social Care Register

60 registrations with conditions

14 removals from the Social Care Register

16 admonishments placed on the registrants’ public record

39 Interim Suspension Orders

Emerging Trends

Almost half of all referrals from employers relate to professional practice

Although there are proportionately fewer referrals relating to professional boundaries a high percentage of Conduct Committees held relate to this matter

Sections 2(striving to establish and maintain the trust and confidence of service users and carers) and 5 (uphold public trust and confidence in social care services) are the sections of the codes of practice most commonly breached.

(source GSCC 2008)

Download the full Codes of Practice here

http://www.gscc.org.uk/Good+practice+and+conduct/Get+copies+of+our+codes

WITNESS supports people who use services who are reporting abuse by social workers. This includes:

Emotional support to help deal with the impact of conduct proceedings

Helping communications and providing support at meetings with lawyers and the GSCC

Preparation for and support at Conduct Committee hearings

Post hearing follow up/debriefing

Reporting to the GSCC on client experiences 

WITNESS is the professional boundaries charity and aims to promote safe boundaries between professionals and the public. They provide a range of services for professionals and the public and work to improve public protection through policy and influencing work. http://www.popan.org.uk/

Conclusions

Professional boundaries are high on the list of issues reported to disciplinary hearings

Skills around boundaries are not currently taught to social workers

Many employers have no clear policy about professional boundaries

Workers often do not know where the line should be drawn.

(source GSCC 2008)

Employers’ responsibilities

 

Social services department, services registered with the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI), and further types of services are expected to be in a position to comply with the Code of Practice for Employers of Social Care Workers. The GSCC suggest that employers:

Use the code for employers as a ‘tick list’ for a comprehensive audit of policies.

In larger organisations, make sure relevant senior colleagues such as the human resources manager, training manager and elected members or board are aware of the codes and their potential impact on the organisation. In smaller organisations, make sure all senior colleagues are aware of the codes and their potential impact.

Ensure that sufficient copies of the code are available for all staff, make sure they have received and read them, and try to have a session where the issues are discussed.

Introduce the codes to new staff at induction and have a discussion with them then about what they mean. The codes contain nothing that cannot be put into practice straight away by social care workers.

The codes can be used in the performance appraisal process as a measurable target for staff and managers. Incorporating the codes into people’s work plans and objectives will be a good way of getting them to think about the codes.

Get staff to carry the credit card-sized codes around with them and ask staff to explain to service users what the codes are, at an appropriate moment.

People who use services should have access to the codes, which are available for download and to order by post in a variety of formats from the GSCC.

 

It remains to be seen how employers, who do not adhere to the codes of practice, will be sanctioned through the Conduct process.

 

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Join the Advanced Practice Social Work Network

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

Employers, higher education institutions, practitioners and other stakeholders are being invited to join the Advanced Practice Social Work Network (APSWN), which offers a collective and independent voice for the professional leadership of social work in the UK. The APSWN seeks to support advanced practitioners in social work and specifically aims to:

  1. Advocate for improved funding structures for Post Qualifying (PQ) education to support the professional development of advanced practitioners;
  2. Engage employers in discussions about the training needs of their advanced practitioners and encourage them to continue supporting advanced level PQ programmes;
  3. Engage employers and other stakeholders in the design of advanced level PQ programmes;
  4. Support HEIs in developing new advanced level PQ programmes;
  5. Advocate for advanced practice positions such as Consultant Social Workers;
  6. Develop the research capacity of advanced social work practitioners;
  7. Engage with organisations to help bridge the gap between research and advanced practice in social work;
  8. Engage with the workforce development agenda and policy initiatives such as the White Paper ‘Our Health, Our Care’ and Building Brighter Futures: Next Steps for the Childrens’ Workforce

Further information from Martin Webber at: martin.webber@iop.kcl.ac.uk.

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