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Published, 13 July 2016

Committee report finds major flaws in social work reform in England

In January 2016 the Government announced a set of proposals to reform children and families social work in England. Social work is already under pressure, with increasing workloads and funding constraints. Reform is needed but the Education Committee's Social Work Inquiry says the proposals have significant weaknesses.

The committee recommends:

  • Scrapping plans for setting up a new social work regulator, and recommends the Government help to establish a strong, new professional body
  • There should be one Chief Social Worker rather than the current two
  • Continuing professional development and post-qualifying training is inadequate and inconsistent and a national career development framework is needed urgently
  • Retaining qualified social workers is an issue and limits should be placed on caseloads, and a national workforce planning system created

The Committee cautiously welcomes the Government's attempt to bring innovation into children's social care but finds the Government's proposals are untested and recommends there should be no expansion of an independent trust model until there is proof it works.

Read the full report on the Parliament website.

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