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Newsletter of the General Social Care Council

June 2010    Issue 9


In this issue of Social Work Connections you will find important information on how to renew your registration with us, as well as on registering with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) for those of you working with children and vulnerable adults.

There have been a number of key developments in the sector since our last edition and we bring you a brief update on relevant parts of the Social Work Implementation Plan, and the White Paper 'Building a National Care service', as well as on who our new ministers are following the change of government.

Our new Chief Executive introduces herself and shares her ambitions for the GSCC.

You can also read a case study from a service user who assists in our inspections of universities providing social work training. We tell you the results of our last poll on the importance of regulation, including the views of a registered social worker who feels that regulation has made a positive difference to the profession.

We hope you enjoy this issue of Social Work Connections. Remember, this is your newsletter, so do continue to provide us with your comments and feedback on the articles and any ideas you may have for future editions.


Penny Thompson © GSCC

Introduction to our new CE Penny Thompson

I'm delighted to have my first opportunity to introduce myself to you since I became Chief Executive of the GSCC on 31 March. As a social worker by background, I still feel very much part of the profession and am very keen to actively engage with you as much as possible to help inform our work.

Helpline worker (C) Phil Dowsing

Registration renewal

Because many social workers first joined the register when registration became compulsory in 2005, over 45,000 of you are due to renew your registration during January to May 2011.

Consulting on changes to GSCC's regulatory functions

The GSCC will be consulting on significant changes to some aspects of the way in which it regulates the profession in the coming months. The changes are designed to improve our effectiveness in protecting the public and will affect the way you interact with us though our registration and conduct processes.

Social worker talking to a user of social work services © GSCC

ISA registration - how it will affect you

The Vetting and Barring Scheme is now being implemented by the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). This scheme aims to prevent unsuitable people from undertaking certain paid or voluntary activities with children or vulnerable adults. The ISA will vet all those who wish to work with vulnerable groups and bar those who pose a risk of harm. The ISA registration process begins this summer.

Inspection reports

Later this month, we will start to publish the outcomes of the work we do to regulate social work degree courses. The following information will be available at

Students wearing mortarboards © Josh Mazgelis

Calling all Graduates!

Congratulations if you have, or are about to, successfully complete your social work degree this summer. You will be eligible to apply to join the Social Care Register as a qualified social worker and you will find details of how to do this on our website - .

Office staff at PC © GSCC

Web focus groups - participants wanted!

We are currently redesigning our website in order to provide social workers, students and other key audiences with more opportunities to engage with us. This will be achieved through introducing new ways of communicating via the website. So we need to know what new functionality and content you want us to include, from forums and blogs through to video content.

Conduct hearings

The following conduct hearings have concluded since the last edition of Social Work Connections up until 27th May 2010. For full details on our hearings and sanctions, please visit


Meg Barbour © Meg Barbour

Case study: Meg Barbour

In this issue we talk to Meg Barbour, someone with experience of using social work services who helps the GSCC in inspecting universities offering the Social Work Degree.

Social worker talking to a user of social work services © GSCC

Post-Qualifying framework

Social workers undertake a variety of specialised training which, although it may count towards your Post- Registration Training and Learning requirements, does not always count towards a professional qualification.

David Glover-Wright © David Glover-Wright

The importance of professional regulation

The last issue of SWC contained a poll asking social workers if professional regulation is important, 808* of you responded to this poll. A massive majority of 92% (745) said that you do think it is important and the main reason cited is because it helps to make sure that social workers get the training they need to ensure their practice is of a high standard.

Family court documents

Some of our conduct hearings have demonstrated that the mishandling of family court papers is increasingly becoming an issue that we need to be more mindful about.

Andrew Lansley MP  © Crown copyright

Sector developments

The Social Work Reform Board report, 'Building a Safe and Confident Future: Implementing the Recommendations of the Social Work Task Force' was published in March, providing a route map for improving social work. The GSCC is playing a central role in informing these plans and is now involved in developing the assessed year in employment, a licence to practise, and a new standard for employers. These initiatives will bring about major changes in the way we regulate, which we believe will have a positive impact on your status and reputation as social workers

Crowd © efekt

Consulting about the role of the proposed College of Social Work

One of the recommendations of the social work taskforce was that an independent national college of social work should be established. As a result, SCIE was asked to establish a development group and this group has just published a consultation paper about the purpose and functions of the proposed college. All social workers are invited to contribute to the debate.

Newsletter of the General Social Care Council

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Edited by the GSCC
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Editorial statement
Social Work Connections , the official electronic newsletter of the General Social Care Council, is produced by the editorial team of the GSCC and provides a quarterly round up of news and information for registered professionals working in the field of social work.

© 2010 General Social Care Council

No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior permission

ISSN 1757-5354

The views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the editor or the GSCC.

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June 2010    Issue 9