Social work is essential to integration, to support the social model and social care alongside the medical model and treatment. Social work enables people to be included in work and communities. It safeguards their rights when doctors are considering compulsory admission or treatment, when they may be at risk of deprivation of their liberty or when they have experienced abuse or neglect.

This Advice Note is the product of a collaboration between the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), the Chief Social Worker for Adults, and the Principal Social Workers’ Network. It aims to support and inform local and regional health and social care integration initiatives by explaining the critical contribution that social workers make to integrated services. It describes the necessity of support to ensure integration succeeds in providing the services that local people need. We have learnt from previous experience of integrated services and multi-professional teams that the contributions of all professionals should be valued, and in order to value the role that social workers make, their unique contribution should be understood and promoted. We need to show how social work is essential to the whole system, not just their specific skills, knowledge and competencies in their areas of practice. This Advice Note contains ‘Top Tips’ for Directors of Adult Social Services and also ‘Top Tips’ for Principal Social Workers to assist in progressing the integration agenda.