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Excellent social work with older people: a discussion paper

We know that excellent social work with older people and their carers makes a real impact. It strengthens families, neighbourhoods and communities, and it helps to ensure that vital resources are used in the best way possible. It is an essential part of high quality social care – but it remains all too often overlooked, under-resourced and inaccessible to the people who stand to benefit from it.

As the Adults Faculty at the College of Social work, we are committed to changing this. This paper sets out our initial thoughts on why and how we should ensure social work with older people is recognised as a specialism in its own right. We also consider the conditions for practice that will be necessary to make this ambition a reality. This is an interim discussion paper, and we welcome responses from social workers, employers, older people, their carers and families.