For several years, UK social workers who had been working in the field of social care, health, education, private & voluntary organisations in England and Wales went about their business learning and gathering experiences as they went along
For those of who were able to access quite good training on social work practices, their ongoing continuing professionals development (CPD) was possible without much help or hindrance from outside bodies
Some social workers went on courses which they paid for by themselves and even changed careers following undertaking related and interesting courses of training such as psychotherapy and other therapeutic courses
They undertook these course in some cases for several years whilst still doing their day job as social workers on the front line or in other related areas where people were vulnerable.
During this time other professionals had regulated bodies in their fields which would ensure that CPD was at the forefront of the professional development of their communities and that their growth and learning was enhanced, rewarded and recognised.
Those professionals such as Nurses, and Lawyers had a very clear professional body which would represent their interests in the community at large including parliament and during adverse media attention.
Unfortunately for social workers they had not been able in all the years that their profession had existed, managed to seek agreement that they were in fact recognised professionals with unique skills which required protecting and enhancing
In fact during the most terrible and abhorrent crimes against children which have been splattered across the UK media it is the social workers who have been blamed as the instigators of the bad practice which lead to tragedies when other professionals have been involved including Doctors, Police and other responsible workers
On its website General Social Care Council informs us that what it does is “...protect the public by maintaining a compulsory register of social workers and enforcing a code of practice, which sets out the standards required of social workers”
Social workers pay a yearly fee to be maintained on this register and they also have to show that they have undertaken continuing professional development as part of the criteria for being on the GSCC register.
The aim is to ensure that there is a statutory and regulatory body that also enhances the professionalism of social work as well as protecting those most at need that require services and interventions from highly qualified workers.
The future of the General Social Care Council is not certain as there are always changes to such emotive bodies, and with each change in UK Government this will impact on ideas of how to best operate public sector organisations and provision.
However social work training is closely linked to the need to develop workers and enhance the lives of vulnerable people and the codes and values which this current body provides has helped social work in the UK obtain a level playing field with counterparts in other professions who have had regulations for years.
Click the link below to get accessible social work training to continue your professional development