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New standards unveiled for children and family social workers

Consultation opens on new set of standards

Isabelle Trowler, the Chief Social Worker for Children and Families, has announced a new set of standards for senior social work supervisors and leaders of child and family social workers.

For the first time, the knowledge and skills statements set out in one place what practice supervisors and practice leaders need to know and be able to do in order to deliver top quality, front-line social work for vulnerable children and families.

The announcement is part of the government's drive to overhaul social work education and training, with the introduction of a new national accreditation system for the specialist and highly demanding area of child and family social work.

Accreditation will require successful completion of a rigorous assessment process involving theory exams, extensive observation of practice and feedback from children and families themselves.

The Chief Social Worker for Children and Families, Isabelle Trowler, who has spent over 20 years in child and family social work, said:

"From my own time as a social worker, from a practitioner to senior leader, I know that effective front line social work requires a wealth of skills and a breadth of knowledge at each and every level - from the front-line right up to the most senior social work leaders.

"I am determined to ensure that we earn the public's respect for and confidence in our profession, particularly from the children, young people and families with whom we work. Having absolute clarity about what practice supervisors and practice leaders need to know and be able to do, and assessing that knowledge and skill against a national standard is a critical part of this ambition. I am very grateful to all who have helped develop the standards and in particular the young people and families who have so helpfully contributed."

The knowledge and skills statements will now be subject to public consultation for 5 weeks. The statements set out what senior child and family social workers are expected to know and be able to do, including:

The consultation closes on the 1st September 2015. The consultation document is here.

2/8/15