Date for Social Work England to take over from the HCPC has been announced

[vc_row bg_type=”” dima_canvas_style=”” translate_x=”0″ dima_z_index=”0″ delay=”” animate_item=”” delay_duration=”” delay_offset=””][vc_column bg_type=”” dima_canvas_style=”” min_height=”” translate_x=”0″ dima_z_index=”0″ delay=”” delay_duration=”” delay_offset=”” width=”1/1″][text delay=”” delay_duration=”” delay_offset=”” id=”” class=””]The Minister for Children and Families, Nadhim Zahawi has announced Monday 2 December 2019 as the date when Social Work England will take over from the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as the new social work regulator.

In preparation for the announcement, significant progress has been made to ensure a smooth and safe transition for social workers. Social Work England will become the new regulator later this year subject to this successful development continuing.

Speaking about the announcement, Colum Conway, Chief Executive of Social Work England, said:

“We are delighted to be able to announce that we will soon become the new specialist regulator for social workers. As a social worker, I understand the positive impact that professionals have on millions of people. I also understand the complexity of the work and the competing priorities in the role. That is why we are putting collaborative working at the heart of all we do and our recent consultation on rules and standards was just one example of this.

“Over the course of the year we will continue to work with the HCPC to ensure an efficient and smooth transition. We are also committed to exploring new approaches that offer responsive and proportionate regulation – empowering professionals to be the very best they can be.”

Marc Seale, Chief Executive of HCPC, said:

“We will continue to work closely with Social Work England to ensure there will be a smooth transition. Good progress has been made so far, and this will continue until the regulatory functions are effectively transferred. Until that time, we are committed to regulating the profession and delivering our core purpose of public protection. We will also ensure that our work on the regulation of the 15 other professions remains unaffected by our focus on the transfer of social workers.”

Social Work England will be the new, specialist regulator for social workers in England. We are an independent public protection body, setting professional, education and training standards for social workers.[/text][callout type=”style_one” direction=”start” delay=”” delay_duration=”” delay_offset=”” title=”About Social Work England” message=”Social Work England will be the new, specialist regulator for social workers in England. We are an independent public protection body, setting professional, education and training standards for social workers.” title_color=”” text_color=”” bg_image=”” href=”” id=”” class=”” style=””][button text=”Click here for some helpful frequently asked questions” type=”” size=”large” color_class=”” float=”center” target=”blank” lightbox=”” delay=”” delay_duration=”” delay_offset=”” href=”https://socialworkengland.org.uk/launch-date-announced-for-specialist-social-work-regulator/” title=”” popup_content=”” id=”” class=”” style=””][/callout][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Social Worker Suspended As He Obstructed An Investigation Into Child Abuse

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A Social Worker has been suspended from practice after it was revealed he had obstructed a Social Services investigation into potential allegations of child abuse by not providing details of children to St Helens Children & Young Peoples Service (CYPS).

It is also claimed that he used his professional Social Work qualification and Adult Social Work position with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council to attempt to unduly influence St Helens CYPS’s investigation.

Background

The Social Worker had communicated from his work email address to St Helens CYPS expressing support for and denying the potential risk of an adult who it was thought could pose a risk to children and who was connected to his family.

The adult in question had an allegations of serious sexual abuse made against him and St Helen’s CYPS had advised that he did not spend time with children alone.

Within that correspondence, the Social Worker named three of his grandchildren and said he would continue to allow this adult to see them, even though the assessment of his risk had not been completed or concluded.  The risk this person posed to the children was therefore unknown.

This prompted the St Helens CYPS Team Manager to contact the Social Worker in question by telephone as they had no information on these three children. Again, the Social Worker refused to provide any information to the Social Work Team.

The HCPC Panel were critical of the Social Worker during the hearing.

It described the Social Worker’s failure to provide details of his grandchildren during the telephone call as ‘deplorable’. He also had deliberately included his work details, which could have led the recipients to believe that he was acting in an official capacity and therefore was an attempt to apply undue influence.

Outcome

The panel concluded that they remained concerned as they had no current information from the Social Worker demonstrating any training or development activity undertaken by him, his reflection on the incidents or his development of insight.  There was no indication that he understood the seriousness of obstructing a child safeguarding inquiry, even some months after the event.

Having considered the seriousness of the incident, the risk to the public and the reputation of the profession, the panel was satisfied that a finding of impairment was appropriate. The HCPC concluded that such behaviour amounted to misconduct and therefore his fitness to practice was impaired.

Learning

As Social Workers, we are taught from day one that our primary role (or focus) involves promoting and safeguarding the welfare of those in need – The public and societies most vulnerable.

It is unclear as to the Social Workers motives in this case not to share the relevant details – he may simply have wanted to protect his family. However, in doing so, he put his own grandchildren at risk of harm and has damaged his professional credentials. Furthermore, as a qualified worker, he would have known or at least understood that in doing so he was impeding in the completion of a mandatory safeguarding enquiry.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Social Worker Struck off HCPC Register: What Can We Learn

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A Social Worker has been struck off from the HCPC register this week for what can be described as some very basic breaches of practice.

The Social Worker in question had failed to carry out child protection visits and then inaccurately entered case notes stating that the family had been seen and within the allotted timescale. The Social Worker was also found to inaccurately advise her colleagues that the family had cancelled a child protection visit. Following the Social Worker’s dismissal, she met with two Service Users and disclosed that she had never any concerns about their care of their children, or words to that effect. The Social Work did not attend the HCPC Panel and therefore the Panel proceeded in her absence. The Panel described her actions as dishonest and by reason of misconduct and/or lack of competence, the Social Workers fitness to practice was impaired.

Now, we at One Stop Social are not here to pass judgement on the Social Worker in question. She must’ve had her reasons for acting in the manner as stated above and we hope that she can learn from the mistakes made and move forward. From personal experience, I’m sure we are all acutely aware of the stressors within the social work environment, particularly if one feels isolated or unsupported.

However, we cannot hide from the fact that this is a further example of poor practice, carried out by a small number of Social Work Practitioners. Such practice continues to give our profession a bad reputation. This fuels the media’s negative portrayal of our work and subsequently the general public’s opinion.

As a profession that values critical reflection and analysis, what learning can students, newly qualified and experienced practitioners take from this? Well, here are some of the key points:

Never ever falsify your case note records.

Yes, I know there will be a number of you shouting at the screen saying ‘social work isn’t just about computer work’. However, what you cannot deny is the fact that this is a fundamental aspect of our work. The ability to write and complete accurate case notes are now contained as an essential requirement within every Social Work Job Application I have read since 2010. Also, from my personal experience of being involved in an inquest, the court were privy to over 300 of my case notes. I felt I would’ve struggled to justify my work had I not been so detailed in my case notes.

Always remain professional when in the company of Service Users.

Whether in works time or not! Yes, it is important (and we are taught) to build a person-centred relationship. However, you should always maintain a client-professional base.

Undertake work within the allotted timescales.

If you cannot, you must seek guidance from management. Now as a Social Worker myself, I know there are times when this is literally out of your control. However, as a Manager of Social Workers, I maintained that if I was directing any of my staff to re-arrange sessions that it was my responsibility if anything unfortunate were to happen. This for me is what it is meant to be a pro-active and supportive manager.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]