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Taking Forward Professor Croisdale-Appleby’s Review of Social Work Education: Re-Visioning Social Work

A Department of Health Update

In April 2013, the Minister for Care and Support commissioned Professor Croisdale-Appleby to undertake a review of social work education and to consider whether (a) social work education, as it is currently structured and operates, produces practitioners of high quality, and (b) whether the Government’s investment in social work education is providing the high quality social workers that our society deserves and needs.

Re-visioning Social Work Education: an independent review was published in February 2014. Professor Croisdale-Appleby’s recommendations cover the complete spectrum of social work education in England, from selection of students for qualifying courses and their education in an HEI and work-based practice placements during the course, leading to their formal qualification and protected title as a Social Worker.

This continues into their education as a newly qualified social worker in the ASYE, and the recommendation to ensure professional competence through its formal assessment in the workplace through creating a Licence to Practise without which they would not be authorised to work professionally as a social worker and their subsequent revalidation with an increased emphasis on continuing professional development.In particular, Professor Croisdale-Appleby drew attention to the complexity of social work, emphasising the need for social work education to recognise this and to equip practitioners with both the practical capability and theoretical knowledge to carry out high quality social work. He developed this into a new and visionary view of social work education in which the social worker is considered as a practitioner, a professional and a social scientist, a view which the Department believes creates a new foundation upon which future social work education can be built.

Sir Martin Narey was separately commissioned by the Secretary of State for Education in 2013 to review social work education and training for children and families social work. His recommendations relate specifically to preparation for child and family social work. The Department is working with DfE to meet the aspirations of both reviews on improving social work qualifying courses and post qualification arrangements, ensuring consistency but allowing flexibility to factor in the differences between adult and children’s social work.