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Newsletter of the General Social Care Council

March 2010    Issue 8

Chair's welcome

This edition of Social Work Connections reports on GSCC news and developments during another period of significant activity in the social work profession.

This includes the government's establishment of a Social Work Reform Board to advise on and lead the implementation of the task force's recommendations. The GSCC sits on this board, playing a key role in advising on how best to take forward the reforms related to regulation of the profession, and we report on progress so far.

We are delighted to introduce our new Executive Management Team who will be joining the GSCC soon and will lead us through this exciting period of renewal and reform.

Rosie Varley, Chair of the GSCC

You can also read about how we involve people who use social work services in our work, and find out about our recent parliamentary reception held at the House of Lords.

And finally, a very big thank you to those of you who took part in the readership survey that we ran in the last edition. We report back on the results of this, and what we will be adding to the newsletter in response to your comments.

Rosie Varley OBE
Chair of the GSCC


Social Work Connections readership survey results

Social Work Connections readership survey results

We recently carried out a survey about Social Work Connections with you, our readers. We asked what you found interesting about the newsletter and what you would like us to focus on in the future.

Every social worker registered with the GSCC needs to keep their skills and knowledge up-to-date. That is why you have to establish - at the three-yearly renewal point - that you have done 90 hours of post registration training and learning (PRTL). That is a minimum requirement - indeed, most social workers report learning hours well in excess of 90 on their renewal form.

Service user with social worker. Photo: John Birdsall

Involving people who use social work services

Engagement with people who have experience of using social work services has been part of GSCC strategy since its creation in 2001. In 2005 we published Seen and Heard which emphasised the right of people who use services and carers to "influence, advise, direct and validate the GSCC's policies and services".

Public protection and conduct

Assessing risk and taking steps to minimise it is something that social workers do every day. It can be a complex and difficult task. Social workers need to weigh up a wide range of factors before deciding on a course of action that is both proportionate and ensures the safety of service users and those around them.

Social worker with service user and child. Photo: John Birdsall

NQSWs and career structures - what you told us

Your responses to the poll in our December newsletter showed that a majority of you felt that the newly qualified social workers (NQSW) you had worked with lacked key skills when entering the workplace.

Raising Standards in Social work education, 2008-09

Report launched into raising standards in social work education

Earlier this month the GSCC published Raising Standards: Social work education in England 2008-2009, its annual report on the overall picture of social work education and training in England. The report shows that five years on from the introduction of the social work degree over 10,000 students have graduated. However, the report also reveals that only eight per cent of social workers are taking up post-qualifying (PQ) training courses, which once again raises concerns about opportunities employers provide for training and development of social workers.

Claudia Megele. Photo: Claudia Megele

A social work student reflects on her placements

In this issue of Social Work Connections we asked a recent graduate to reflect on the placements that she undertook as part of her social work degree.

Conduct hearings

The following conduct hearings have concluded since the last edition of Social Work Connections. For full details on these conduct hearings, please visit the GSCC website.


Use MyGSCC to update your details and more

We understand that when you are busy the last thing you want to do is spend your time on the phone updating your details or filling out lengthy forms.


Penny Thompson, GSCC Chief Executive

Meet our new Chief Executive and Executive Management Team

We are pleased to announce that we have appointed a new Chief Executive, Penny Thompson, who will join us by 1 April. A trained social worker, Penny has over 20 years' experience in social care and local government, including as Chief Executive of the London Borough of Hackney, and Social Services Director of Sheffield City Council. She is currently co-director of independent public sector consultancy PeysnerThompson Ltd.

Speakers at the GSCC parliamentary reception. Photo: Andrew Parsons

The GSCC parliamentary reception 2010

An audience of over 150 Members of Parliament, Lords, and other key stakeholders from across the social care sector came together to hear about the work of the GSCC at a parliamentary reception in the House of Lords earlier this month. The high attendance at the event showed that the sector understands the vital importance of regulation in protecting the public and raising standards in the profession.

Social Work Reform Board. Photo: Pete Zarria

Social Work Reform Board

The Social Work Task Force, which reported in December 2009, made a series of recommendations about the future shape of the profession. The government aims to publish an implementation plan at the beginning of March and has established a reform board to advise on what should be in that plan - and to prepare the ground for change by bringing all the key bodies together to help in the delivery of the reforms.

Newsletter of the General Social Care Council

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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 care.

© 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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March 2010    Issue 8