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August 2011 – Social Work Practice Pilots (updated June 2012)

Social care services have over the last twenty years shifted from being largely provided by local authorities, to being over 80% located in the independent sector. In addition there has been an increase in the number of people who are directly purchasing their own care, without going through a social work assessment. It is estimated for example that over 40 % in the residential care sector is purchased directly by people). It has long been predicted that social work services would be likely to follow suit. Both the last Government and the current Government have been keen to see social enterprises as major providers of services and the Social Work Practice pilots (SWP pilots) go with that direction of policy.