BASW has praised Professor David Croisdale-Appleby’s report Re-visioning social work education: an independent review for its “academic rigour” and depth of engagement with a wide range of stakeholders.
Professor Croisdale-Appleby’s report, focused on social work for adults and commissioned by the Department of Health, pledges support for a generic social work qualification, in contrast with the support for early specialisation in Sir Martin Narey's review of children’s social work for the Department for Education, also published this month.
The report makes 22 recommendations, including; higher entry requirements for social work courses, a reduction in the number of social workers trained and the development of a new strategic workforce planning system, and social workers facing a ‘fitness to practice’ test at least every five years once qualified.
Commenting on Professor Croisdale-Appleby’s report, published today, Bridget Robb, Chief Executive of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) said: “This is an excellent report that combines academic rigour with a deep understanding of the social work profession. It is clear, evidence based and provides workable options for the future.
“It is refreshing to see a report address weaknesses in the current system without resorting to condemnation of current students and practitioners.
“There is good evidence from the report that a partnership and collaborative approach has been embraced with stakeholders and a detailed analysis of the challenges and strengths of current social work education. BASW supports the recommendation that the regulation of social work education is made coherent and seamless and there is a new single regulatory regime.
“The sheer number of people and organisations, including BASW, who are named as contributing to the report illustrates the depth of the engagement and the wide range of stakeholders from across the UK and internationally who have had an input and who are affected by decisions made in England.
“Professor David Croisdale-Appleby’s acknowledgement of social work as an international profession within a global context is a core value for BASW, and we are relieved to see his support for maintaining different generic education and training pathways for social work, benchmarked by consistent high standards.
"The generic underpinning of social work education is crucial, since no social worker can work effectively with children without an in-depth understanding of the adults who care for them. Equally, social workers working with adults share this duty to ensure the best upbringing for children related to those adults. The safeguarding of adults and children from abuse and domestic violence is also a core responsibility for every social worker."
“No country in the UK must make decisions about its social work education system without looking at the implications across the UK, EU and internationally. This report both highlights areas of practice where England is leading the world, as well as identifying areas where improvement is necessary.
“It is interesting to note the concern highlighted in the report about the current focus on children and child protection ‘may be detracting from the important contribution social work makes to adults, particularly in mental health with the continuing role of social workers as Approved Mental Health Practitioners (AMHPS), and in the increasing quantum of demand from those with learning disabilities”.
“We hope this seminal report, in tandem with Lyn Romeo’s appointment as Chief Social Worker, will serve to push social work with adults higher up the political agenda.
“There are clear challenges to everyone in this report which we look forward to working with partners to address. We welcome the expectation that we will work with others to develop a new CPD framework in England and look forward to further debate about the licensing of social workers and links to the registration process.”