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Who are Social Work England?

By Luke Aldred

​Social workers play a crucial role in society by empowering people to improve their chances in life. On a daily basis, social workers are in a position in which they’re entrusted with the safety and welfare of members of the public.

If you’re an overseas social worker who’s considering continuing your career in England, you’ll need to register with Social Work England to be able to practice here.

Who are Social Work England?

Social Work England is the specialist regulator for social work in the country (previously regulated by the Health & Care Professions Council); an independent public protection body that sets professional, education and training standards for social workers. Its purpose is to regulate social work in England so that people receive the best possible support whenever they might need it in life. It’s committed to raising standards through collaboration with everyone involved in social work.

The Children and Social Work Act 2017 sets out Social Work England’s overall duties and powers. Social Work England achieves its objectives by:

  • Setting and maintaining high standards of education, training and continuing good practice

  • Registering only social work professionals who meet its requirements on education and training, health and good character

  • Investigating any serious concerns about the conduct and competence of social workers that could put people at risk, or damage public confidence in the social work profession

  • Working in partnership with service users and professional bodies

  • Promoting awareness and understanding of professional regulation, common mistakes in practice and the work of Social Work England

It also investigates and manages fitness to practice cases brought against social workers; these are usually serious failures in professional competence that could put people at unnecessary risk. Social Work England understands the challenges involved in social work and recognises that mistakes will sometimes be made. Whenever possible, it’ll work collaboratively with social workers to support them in addressing any problems they face.

To find out more about becoming a UK social worker, get in touch.