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Curriculum framework for continuing professional development (CPD) on Planning and supporting permanence: reunification, family and friends care, long-term foster care, special guardianship and adoption

Achieving the best possible development, life chances and outcomes for children is the goal of continuous professional development (CPD) for qualified social workers working with looked after children and in fostering, adoption and special guardianship. The social work task will include working closely with children, with birth, foster and adoptive family members and with a range of professionals in their own and other agencies. It requires particular knowledge, skills and values, which need to be linked and integrated with the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF), both in terms of content and levels, and with the standards of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), which requires social workers to maintain a CPD record. Social workers need to draw on a set of core values and the body of evidence-based knowledge, in combination with critical analysis and the skills to exercise professional judgement in individual cases.

Family placement social work operates in a framework of law, regulation and guidance designed to ensure the wellbeing of children from infancy to adulthood. As the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review Guidance (DCSF, 2010a: 12) makes clear, the goal of all child and family social work is to achieve permanence – to ‘ensure that children have a secure, stable and loving family to support them through childhood and beyond’. Achieving this goal requires an understanding of child development and the many factors that contribute to children’s security and wellbeing in the context of family and community life. It also requires an understanding of the various risk factors inherent in planning and decision making and how these can be identified and managed in the best interests of the child.