Skip to main content

Care Council for Wales to reflect after GSCC abolition

The social work regulator in Wales is to reflect on its future role following the surprise announcement earlier this week that the General Social Care Council (GSCC) in England is to be abolished.

The Care Council for Wales said the future of social work regulation would be included in the white paper for social services, announced by deputy minister for social services Glenda Thomas last month, which will be published next year.

Arwel Ellis Owen, chair of the Council, said: “In Wales, the Independent Commission established last year by Gwenda Thomas AM, Deputy Minister for Social Services, is tasked with looking at the future provision of social services and social care in Wales. Its findings will feed into the recently announced White Paper on the future arrangements for social services over the next decade which will be published in the new year. That will include the future arrangements for regulation and improvement of services and arrangements for the workforce in Wales.”

BASW responded to the Westminster government’s surprise decision to abolish the GSCC and fold its regulatory work into a wider healthcare body, by insisting that the new entity must strongly recognise social work in its title and its focus.

News of the planned demise of the GSCC in April 2012 emerged in the Westminster Department of Health’s ‘Review of arm’s length bodies (ALBs) to cut bureaucracy’, a move aimed at securing projected savings of over £180m by 2014/15.

The review outlines a plan to ‘transfer the regulation of social workers to the Health Professions Council, which will be renamed to reflect its new remit.’

BASW chief executive Hilton Dawson called for the new regulatory organisation to be known as ‘the Health Professions and Social Work Council”.

He added: “The further development of regulation must allow for a statutory role for the UK College of Social Work and we envisage that the enabling legislation which will be required to fulfill this announcement will provide the occasion for the Social Work Act of Parliament for which BASW has been lobbying.”

The proposed April 2012 closure of the GSCC coincides neatly with the planed formal launch of the College of Social Work in March 2012, although how the GSCC’s work – in regulating the social work profession and monitoring standards of higher education provision – will be divided up in the future remains uncertain.