The College of Social Work (TCSW) held its official launch event today, calling for a stronger voice for social workers ahead of the government’s white paper on social care.
The college, which has been open to members since the start of the month, has said that social workers need to “speak with a strong voice to policymakers” ahead of “unprecedented change” facing the profession.
The college was established on the recommendations of the Department of Health’s social work taskforce to champion all aspects of the profession across the social care sector, following recommendations the death of Baby Peter.
Using its launch on Tuesday to set out its vision for overcoming challenges faced by practitioners, its interim co-chair, Maurice Bates, said: “There has never been a more urgent time for social workers to be properly represented.
“These are challenging times for both social workers and people that they work with. TCSW’s aim is to protect and uphold standards throughout these difficult times and ensure the voice of the social work profession is heard.”
The children’s minister, Tim Loughton, said social work reform was one of the coalition government’s top priorities, and the college was “key in making these reforms work”.
Paul Burstow, the social care minister, added: “Social care is changing and social work needs to change with it. The government will continue to support the social work reform programme to drive up standards in care.”
The college was initially due to open at the end of November 2011 after receiving £5m in government funding but its launch was delayed after the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) accused the college of using public money to promote the union Unison.
BASW and the college have each appointed independent mediators and negotiators to try to broker an agreement, and any further decisions on the deal with Unison will now be taken by the college’s first board, which will be elected in April.
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