The Care Standards Act 2000 contained provisions for the protection of the professional title of "Social Worker".
The Care Standards Act 2000 contained provisions for the protection of the professional title of "Social Worker" (Chapter 14 (part 1V) section 61). In practice this will mean that a person would be committing an offence if they use the title "Social Worker" or use any title or description that implies that s/he is a social worker unless they hold a relevant social work qualification and are registered with the General Social Care Council (GSCC).
The benefits of this new regulation are to raise the standards of social care and to restore public confidence. Users, when they have contact with anyone using the title can be confident that they are appropriately qualified and regulated by an independent body.
This clause has not yet been implemented and the DoH are currently consulting on the timescale. The closing date for the consultation was 23rd January. When protection of title becomes law it will have implications for services that currently use the title education social worker, where not all staff are qualified and registered. The timescale being proposed by government is as follows
* Notice period (during which all Social Workers must register) 01 April 2004- 31 March 2005
* Implementation of Protection of Title 01 April 2005
Registration is currently underway for all qualified social workers. Local Authorities will have been contacted regarding the registration of their staff. There are no details yet as to the timescale for registration of other social care staff.
A further result of the implementation will be that the current voluntary aspect of registration will disappear, making it imperative for every social worker wishing to practice to be registered.
Any members who hold a social work qualification may find it useful to contact social services and education HR departments to check their position on registration. You can also visit the GSCC website. www.gscc.org.uk
Jacqui Newvell Training & Development Officer