Skip to main content

The Standards for employers of Social Workers in England

Why do we need the Standards for Employers?
Good social work can transform people’s lives and protect them from harm. In order to achieve consistently high quality outcomes for service users and their carers, social workers must have and maintain the skills and knowledge to establish effective relationships with children, adults and families, professionals in a range of agencies and settings, and members of the public. Employers can use the Standards along with an appropriate supervision framework to help drive recruitment and retention.
What are they?
These are Standards, which set out the shared core expectations of employers which will enable social workers in all employment settings to work effectively. These expectations are being incorporated within self-regulation and improvement frameworks for public services and used by service regulators (Ofsted, CQC). All employers providing a social work service should establish a monitoring system by which they can assess their organisational performance against this framework, set a process for review and, where necessary, outline their plans for improvement. Employers should ensure their systems, structures and processes promote equality and do not discriminate against any employee.
Who do they apply to?
The Standards apply to all employers of social workers. They relate to all registered social workers employed within an organisation, as well as managers and social work students. Though the landscape in which social work is delivered is changing, it is expected that these Standards will be relevant to and adopted in all settings and however social workers are employed.
How were they developed?
Stakeholder partners across the sector (listed in the Partners section) developed these Standards between 2009 and 2012 as part of the Social Work Reform Board, building on existing guidelines for employers of social workers, the Professional Capabilities Framework for social workers held by The College of Social Work, the evolving Career Framework, and the HCPC regulatory requirements. The LGA hosts the Standards on their website on behalf of the sector and continues to work with partners on their regular review through the Standards for Employers Working Group. The Standards have been refreshed in May 2014, and will be reviewed regularly