Social Services

Education written question – answered on 21st July 2010.

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Photo of Karl Turner Karl Turner Labour, Kingston upon Hull East

To ask the Secretary of State for Education what plans he has to (a) recruit and (b) retain and support social workers.

Photo of Tim Loughton Tim Loughton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The Government are committed to implementing the recommendations of the Social Work Task Force, which collectively comprise a programme of work to support social work including recruitment, retention and support of social workers. I have asked the Social Work Reform Board to continue its work to deliver these recommendations, which include:

a new and independent College for Social Work, led and owned by the profession; a career structure for social workers so that experienced practitioners can progress in front line roles as well as management; a new standard for employers to ensure that they put in place the conditions that social workers need to practice effectively; a model for forecasting levels of supply and demand for social workers to assist employers in planning for the workforce they need; and local authority children's services in 2010-11 to support local social work improvement activity.

The Department also confirmed continued funding in 2010-11 of recruitment and The Social Work Reform Board will work closely with Professor Eileen Munro during her review of child protection, launched by the Secretary of State for Education on 10 June.

Additionally, on the same day as the launch of Professor Munro's review the Department announced a £23 million Local Social Work Improvement Fund available to retention programmes led by the Children's Workforce Development Council including:

The Newly Qualified Social Worker (NQSW) programme to help social work graduates transition into the workforce;

Early Professional Development for social workers in their second and third years of practice, building on the NQSW programme; and

Graduate Recruitment and Step Up to Social Work schemes to encourage high quality graduates to train to be social workers.

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