Student registration 'vital to instilling sense of professionalism'

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS)
Association of Directors of Children's Services (ADCS)
Follow ADASS on Twitter: @ADASSdclode
Date: Wednesday 16th May 2012
Embargo: Immediate

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services and the Association of Directors of Childrens Services have expressed their 'extreme disappointment with the decision by the Health Professions Council (HPC) not to register social work students in the future, particularly given the overwhelming support from the sector that students should continue to be registered.

Currently, under General Social Care Council rules, social work students are required to register in the same way as any qualified social worker - something that ADASS and ADCS believe should continue in order to ensure the safety of the public from poor practice.

According to a statement issued by both leaders Associations: "It is crucial that social work students are subject to the same national regulations as qualified social workers when undertaking placements and that they are responsible and accountable for the work they carry out. In addition to this, through registering, students are agreeing to a code of practice that is vital to instilling a sense of professionalism that is carried forward in their social work careers."

A further concern of both ADASS and ADCS relates to the long term impact that the HPCs decision could have on the future of the social work profession. Under their plans, responsibility for social work students on placement will shift from the regulator to Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). This will introduce an added burden to HEIs that could lead some to withdraw social work courses.

According to Jo Cleary and Dave Hill who are both members of the Social Work Reform Board on behalf of ADASS and ADCS: "We are extremely concerned that the lack of registration and the regulation that comes with it may deter many councils from continuing to offer placements to social work students. Both of the above would be detrimental to the development of the future workforce and undermine the progress of the Social Work Reform Board".

Jo Cleary, Joint Chair, ADASS Workforce Network, 020 79264786
Dave Hill ADCS Spokesman on Social Work Reform, 07577 353072
Drew Clode, ADASS Policy/Press Adviser, 020 8348 5023/07976 83755

Editorial Notes

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) represents directors of adult social services in local authorities in England. DASSs have statutory responsibilities for the social care of older people and adults with disabilities, while over 50 per cent also run social housing departments. ADASS members might also share a number of responsibilities for the provision and/or commissioning of housing, leisure, library, culture and arts services within their councils.

The Association of Directors of Childrens Services (ADCS ltd) is the senior leadership association for directors of childrens services and their senior management teams. Directors of childrens services are responsible for ensuring the educational, social and emotional needs of children and young people are considered together, and DCSs have statutory responsibility for local authority educational and social care services for children.