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Will national standards be sticks to beat social workers with?

16 December 2010

The Social Work Reform Board has set out what is expected of social workers at every stage of their career in the profession’s first ever proposed national standards framework, set out in its report, Building a Safe and Confident Future: One Year On

Once in place these standards will be relied on in professional negligence claims as the benchmark against which social workers’ practice will be assessed by claimant lawyers.

They will take some implementing. Furthermore, internet comments make it clear that practitioners are concerned that the standards will be used as benchmarks against which to manage and assess their own performance, but that local authorities face no real sanctions if they fail to meet their obligations to their employees and by extension, their service-users.

The framework is not set in stone yet. The consultation period finishes on 31 March 2011 and anyone interested in commenting on the proposals can visit the reform board’s website for more details.

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