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Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2011): Social care - UK

Building a safe and confident future: one year on: detailed proposals

Social Work Reform Board


Presents overarching professional standards for social workers in England; proposed standards for employers and the supervision framework; proposals for creation of a coherent framework for continuing professional development; proposals for improving the quality of the social work degree; and proposals for partnerships between employers and educators.


Building a safe and confident future: one year on: progress report

Social Work Reform Board


This report contains information about the progress of social work reform over the past year and launches proposals which cover five key areas. The reforms proposed in this report are fundamental and long term. They cover the whole career of a social worker from selection onto degree courses, to improving the skills and capacity of those already in the profession. The proposed changes are interrelated, and at their heart is a set of overarching professional standards which will shape what social workers should know and do as students, as newly qualified social workers, and at different stages in their careers. Changes are proposed to the social work degree, including arrangements for planning high quality practice placements, and plans are outlined to ensure that social workers already in the profession, as well as new entrants, have purposeful learning and development to progress their skills and practice throughout their working lives. Standards are also proposed for employers of social workers which set out what they should do to provide a supportive working environment in which social workers can practise effectively. This must include time for reflection and supervision.


Consultation on local authority care duties

Community Care, Mar. 17th 2011, p.4-5

The Department for Communities and Local Government has launched a review of all statutory duties laid on local authorities. The public is asked to judge which duties should be abolished and which kept. Among the statutory duties that could disappear are those to assess people for community care, offer a carer's assessment, provide community care for disabled people, provide welfare services, conduct child protection investigations and keep vulnerable children in care. Councils would be left free to operate in a way that meets local needs and priorities.

Funding cuts lead to tidal wave of job and service losses

J. Dunning, K. McGregor and M. Garboden

Community Care, Mar. 10th 2011, p. 6-7

This article explores the impact of government funding cuts on social care services offered by four local authorities: Blackburn, Southwark, East Sussex and Isle of Wight.

How to get leaner, but not meaner

S. Mundy and E. Lewis

Health Service Journal, Apr. 21st 2011, p. 20-22

The government is encouraging the NHS and local authorities to work together to improve efficiency, ensure that vulnerable people receive appropriate community care, and reduce emergency hospital admissions. As part of this landscape of cooperation, local authorities are importing quality and efficiency processes from the NHS to help streamline their work. In 2010, Gateshead Council's adult social care team applied lean principles to improve the efficiency of their core assessment process and demonstrated the positive effect this had on the wellbeing of clients. This has enabled Gateshead PCT to free up resources.

New ratings scheme will be voluntary and providers will have to pay, says regulator


Caring Times, Apr. 2011, p. 4

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has announced plans to develop a new excellence award for providers of social care. The scheme is set to be launched in April 2012 and will be CQC owned but delivered under licence by other organisations. The scheme will be voluntary and applicants will be charged for assessment.

New rules for care workers turned down

M. Beckford

Daily Telegraph, Apr. 20th 2011, p. 18

There are at least 150,000 health care assistants, who carry out roles such as washing and feeding patients, in hospitals and care homes, with more being employed as a cheaper alternative to clinical staff. There are no training requirements for health care assistants and no regulatory body to discipline those who break rules, allowing workers sacked for misconduct to simply move on to another employer. Government has now rejected proposals for statutory regulation.

Peace breaks out

L. Hunt

Community Care, Mar. 10th 2011, p. 26-27

Three major independent arbitration panels have been set up in London and the South East to settle disputes over long-term care funding between local authorities and primary care trusts. They enable the parties in dispute to avoid costly court hearings, improve joint working , and provide an opportunity for better care to be identified for patients.

Personalisation: perceptions of the role of social work in a world of brokers and budgets

J. Leece and D. Leece

British Journal of Social Work, vol.41, 2011, p. 204-223

The role of social workers in the new world of personalised services is uncertain. This paper considers existing literature and reports new empirical research that used computer-mediated communication to gather data from 66 disabled adults, carers and older people about their views on the role of social work in the new personalised system. The study used a grounded theory approach and considered the findings within a framework of power and autonomy. The results showed how much people valued their autonomy; respondents questioned the need for the provision of social services and said they wanted brokerage and advocacy systems that were independent and accountable only to users. They highlighted the negative impact of social workers' professional power on service users ability to control their support.

Policy: 2011 and beyond

A. Kerslake, J. Glasby and P. Beresford

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, 2011

The paper by Kerslake calls on directors of social services to provide leadership in responding to draconian cuts in local authority funding. Proposals for action are grouped under the four headings of diverting demand for social care, reducing it, managing it more cheaply, and stimulating the development of a more diverse market. Against the current background of financial difficulties the article by Glasby explores some of the themes from the coalition government's adult social care vision: prevention, personalisation, health and social care partnership, and productivity. Beresford argues that the social care currently delivered by local authorities and voluntary organisations to vulnerable adults is inadequate and consequently severe strain is placed on families and friends. Problems are growing due to population ageing, the increasing longevity of disabled people, and the prevalence of chronic illnesses. Providing necessary support requires that the funding of social care is put on a par with that of the NHS.

Self-neglect action plan

V. Pitt

Community Care, Mar. 17th 2011, p. 22-23

The legal powers of social workers to intervene in cases where vulnerable people neglect themselves and refuse services are very unclear and the law is fragmented. The Law Commission is currently reviewing adult social care law in order to simplify it and it is hoped that the report will address the legal position on self-neglect.

Serious case reviews in adult safeguarding in England: an analysis of a sample of reports

J. Manthorpe and S. Martineau

British Journal of Social Work, vol.41, 2011, p. 224-241

There is increasing concern about the exposure of vulnerable adults to abuse. This article derives from a study commissioned by the Department of Health which sought to investigate the current process, content, analysis and recommendations of adult safeguarding reviews in England in the context of a review of the No Secrets guidance. These reviews are undertaken by local adult protection or safeguarding boards following harm to, or the death of, a vulnerable adult but the reports are not public documents and therefore there have been few opportunities for social workers to learn from them collectively. The authors describe their analysis of the review processes based on a small sample of 22 review reports. It is concluded that the reports lack transparency about their purpose and activities. A more standardised approach could raise the quality and usefulness of these reports and the degree to which they are amenable to central collation.

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