Fair care: A workforce strategy for social care

Institute for Public Policy Research, December 2018

Adult social care is an essential public service and a growing part of our economy. However, the social care system in England faces a workforce crisis which is set to grow in the coming years; by 2028, we estimate there will be a shortage of over 400,000 workers in social care.

The challenges of recruiting and retaining workers in the sector is inextricably linked to low pay and poor working conditions. This is itself related to the under-funding of social care and a commissioning and delivery model based on cost not quality. Providers have competed by driving down pay and conditions, and they have faced little resistance given the limited bargaining power of the workforce and the limited enforcement of employment rights. These factors are combining to create a social care workforce crisis.

The solution is a sustainable long-term funding settlement for social care and a transformation of the social care workforce model. This should be based on the establishment of decent pay and terms and conditions through sectoral collective bargaining, and a professionalisation of the social care workforce. These measures would help ensure high-quality work for care workers, and high-quality care for those who need it.

Click here to view the full report.

Priorities for Adult Social Work Research: Results from the James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership for adult social work

Department of Health and Social Care, November 2018

This report sets out the top ten priorities for adult social work research. It aims to help make sure future research answers the questions that are important to social workers and those who are in contact with them. The priorities cover a broad range of themes and issues for adult social workers. These will help to improve understanding of the social work approaches and interventions that work and why, and help to achieve the best outcomes for people and their carers.

Click here to view the report.

Transgender awareness in child and family social work education

National Institute of Economic and Social Research, May 2018

This research provides evidence on:

  • transgender awareness in social work education and training
  • transgender awareness amongst child and family social workers
  • transgender people’s experiences of child and family social work in England

Click here to view the full report.

Chief Social Worker for Adults Annual Report 2017-18: From strength to strength: Strengths-based practice and achieving better lives

Department of Health and Social Care, March 2018

Annual Report of the  Chief Social Worker for Adults (England) that focus’ on strengths-based practice  an approach that recognises everyone as citizens, including those in the most vulnerable circumstances and those with long-term needs. It’s about supporting their rights, acknowledging responsibilities and  empowering them with skills and expertise. It calls don social workers to deliver safe and best outcomes for people with health and care needs; and identifies social work priorities over the coming year to further raise the quality and profile of adult social work across an integrated system.

Click here to view this report.

Social work: essential to integration

Department of Health, March 2017

The document should be used to support and inform local and regional health and social care integration initiatives. It explains:

  • the critical contribution that social workers make to integrated services
  • how social work is essential to the whole system
  • the necessity of support to ensure integration succeeds in providing the services people need

It also includes ‘top tips’ for directors of adult social services and for principal social workers to assist in progressing the integration agenda.

Click here to access the document.

Revised Standards of proficiency for social workers in England

Health & Care Professions Council, January 2017

These standards set out what social workers in England should know, understand and be able to do when they complete their social work training in order to register with the HCPC. They also set out clear expectations of a social workers’ knowledge and ability whilst practicing.

Click here to view the standards.