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New knowledge standards set for children’s social workers

The government has announced plans for a new ‘gold standard’ for social workers working with vulnerable children and families. 

The new ‘Approved Child and Family Practitioner’ status will only be available to those who have passed a test based on the knowledge and skills statement which has been set out by Isabelle Trowler, the Chief Social Worker for children. 

The statement is part of the government’s efforts to improve the quality of the social work profession. The test will ensure that practitioners are fully able to identify the full range of risks (including neglect and physical, emotional and sexual abuse) and know how to protect children.

Speaking of the new initiative, Isabelle Trowler said: “I'm determined to ensure we earn the public's respect and confidence in our profession by ensuring that every child and family social worker is properly supported to do the job society needs them to do.

"Having absolute clarity about what a social worker needs to know and be able to do and testing that knowledge and skill against a national standard is a critical part of this ambition."

The new gold standard is the government’s response to Sir Martin Narey’s review into the education of social workers. His report (which was published in February) recommended greater training for social workers along with a sharper focus on practical skills. 

The knowledge and skills statement will be under public consultation for the next 10 weeks. A similar report for adult social workers will currently being prepared by the Chief Social Worker for Adults, Lyn Romeo and will be published shortly. 

You can read more about Sir Martin Narey’s analysis of social work education in the May-June edition of Sanctuary Social Work News.  

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