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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2010): Social care - UK

Building a safe, confident future

Social Work Taskforce


Key recommendations on social work reform include:

  • A career structure for social workers that ensures that experienced practitioners can progress in frontline roles, as well as management
  • A new standard for employers to ensure that they all put in place the conditions that social workers need to practice effectively, including high quality supervision, time for continuing professional development and manageable workloads
  • A new and independent college for social work, which must establish a stronger voice for the profession and influence policy making and public debate; and a programme of work to improve public understanding of social work
  • Reform of initial social work training, so that people of high calibre enter the profession and all students receive good quality education and practice learning placements
  • A new licensing system that will introduce an assessed probationary year in employment for new social work graduates.
  • A revamped framework for continuing professional development, underpinned by a practice-based masters qualification, so that all social workers can keep their skills up to date and develop specialist knowledge.

(For summary and comment see Professional Social Work, Jan. 2010, p. 17-20) URL:

How care came in from the cold

L. Phillips

Public Finance, Jan. 15th-21st 2010, p. 16-17

After being sidelined for many years, social care has become a hot political issue. A Bill to give free home care to the most needy elderly and disabled people is being rushed through Parliament, and the Labour government intends to publish a white paper before the 2010 general election.

The recession and social care

Community Care, Dec. 3rd 2009, p. 18-29

This special report aims to outline the main challenges facing social care as demand rises and funding is cut back due to the recession. The report presents opinion from councils and sector bodies on what the immediate future holds for social services, argues for the vital role of preventative services in the children's sector and re-enablement programmes for older people, and explores the impact of the growth in unemployment on mental health services.

Safeguarding and system change: early perceptions of the implications for adult protection services of the English individual budgets pilots

J. Manthorpe and others

British Journal of Social Work, vol. 39, 2009, p. 1465-1480

The Department of Health has piloted the use of Individual Budgets as a form of personalised support for adults in 13 local authorities in England. This article reports on interviews with adult protection leads in the 13 pilot sites about the pilots' linkages to their work, their perceptions of the launch of the scheme, and the policy's fit with safeguarding and risk agendas. The interviews were undertaken as part of the national evaluation of the pilots. Adult protection leads were not central to the early implementation of Individual Budgets. They had concerns about the risk of financial abuse of vulnerable adults inherent in Individual Budgets.

Sharing assessment in health and social care: a practical handbook for interprofessional working

C. Wallace and M. Davies

London: Sage, 2009

Shared assessment is the standardised approach to assessment and the sharing of information and documentation within and between health and social care. This book offers students and practitioners a step-by-step guide to the process, helping them to overcome some of the anxieties induced by change and providing realistic guidance on the process. Key concepts discussed throughout are:

  • sharing assessment information
  • person centredness
  • assessment frameworks
  • avoiding duplication
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