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BASW: Forensic social work capabilities framework essential reading for social workers

Mental health social worker and BASW CEO Dr Ruth Allen has said the newly published forensic mental health social work capabilities framework is essential for the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of new and established social workers.

Forensic social workers typically use their legal expertise to work within a variety of systems and settings. Funded by NHS England and published by the Department of Health (DoH), the framework is designed to build upon the generic requirements set out in the professional capabilities framework (PCF) for social workers, hosted by BASW.

Chief Social Worker for Adults Lyn Romeo described the framework as a “route map” for anyone embarking on a forensic social work career, identifying the capabilities, knowledge and skills needed at every stage.

BASW CEO Dr Ruth Allen, a member of the steering group that developed the framework, said: “Forensic social work is a vital and highly specialised area of practice and forensic social workers are essential upholders of people’s rights. As such, their knowledge of the law as well as complex social, psychological and health issues needs to be specialised and kept fresh.

“Forensic social workers need a breadth and depth of skill to work effectively with people who are often detained under the most stringent powers in the land. They very often are indispensable to maintaining hope for people looking forward to a time when they may return to community life, and are integral to helping to maintain family and social connections. 

“The new capability framework will be essential for the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of new and established social workers.  I am particularly pleased that it is based on the BASW-hosted PCF, the unifying profession owned social work development framework for England.

“BASW will be working to establish a group in-house to support forensic social work and to promote these capabilities across the country. This is a great piece of profession-led work to promote excellence and a very welcome partnership opportunity for BASW with forensic colleagues around the country in keeping with my personal and BASW’s commitment to supporting social work in mental health.”

Click HERE to read the framework

Click HERE to read more from Chief Social Worker for Adults Lyn Romeo