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Curriculum Guide for The Care Act

This curriculum guide sets out how social workers at all levels, employers and commissioners of learning and development, and educators can prepare the social work workforce to use the Care Act well.

As the professional body for social work, the College of Social Work has produced this guide to provide a professional view of how social work practice needs to build on the strengths of personalised care, empowerment and support and, in some instances, to change in order to fulfil the potential and challenges of the Care Act.

Reflecting “the most significant reform in adult services in over 60 years” (Norman Lamb 14th May 2014) the Care Act builds on ongoing developments in adult social care away from paternalistic and managed care, towards empowerment, choice and control for adults and carers. The Care Act reflects two trends in social care: a new relationship between adults/ carers and practitioners based on values of empowerment and promoting independence; and good decision making based on sound professional judgement.

Social workers are integral to the successful implementation of the Care Act. Their values, knowledge and skills reflect what is needed for good practice under the Care Act. They are in a position to model good practice for others and act as mentors. In advanced and strategic roles, social workers, employers, commissioners and educators are able to create conditions and set standards for good practice. As a professional group, social workers can act as change agents for a societal move towards people having greater choice and control over their wellbeing. The Care Act reflects what adults and carers want from social care, and this guide helps to ensure that social workers respond.

Social workers work in diverse roles and settings, and interact with the Care Act in different ways. The Care Act principles and ways of working apply to all who work with adults. Since social work is a single profession, social workers working with children and their families also need to be aware of the Care Act.