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Wed, 14 Nov 18 10:00

Workforce Development Summer 2015 Update

The Workforce Development Policy Committee met on Friday 1 May with new Chair, Rachael Wardell formally taking the reins.

The group had a very positive presentation from, and discussion with, Health Education England, they are keen to look at the influence and role of the whole children’s and families workforce and create a much more fluid line between primary and secondary care and wider children’s services and settings. ADCS will be invited to join the Advisory Team once funding has been established for the programme. The committee strongly welcomed this approach and recognised the role ADCS has in achieving our joint ambitions despite some cultural challenges to overcome.

Discussions then moved on to the successful Apprenticeship Trailblazer bid to BIS. This is now be taken forward by a representative group of employers, including several local authority representatives and colleagues from other sectors including early years and residential children’s homes to ensure that a common ‘core’ works across the sector but specialist options being developed join clearly to that.

Attention then turned to the need for ADCS to be aware of and involved in the ongoing national social work reform initiatives, particularly the development of three accredited statuses for social work about which there are several key questions to be answered. Since this meeting ADCS members have met with the Chief Social Worker, confirmed membership of a new expert reference group and will attend a focus group on the skills and knowledge statements to underpin the three statutes.

A fascinating discussion then followed on the approaches being developed in individual regions to improve the recruitment and retention of social workers through a greater focus on employment terms and working conditions. LGA have produced a useful report on this from employers’ perspective and Research in Practice are developing some practice guidance. Colleagues shared a range of experiences of working with agencies to manage spend and increase quality and ownership, with some positive early sign of success.

The group then heard about an ADASS commissioned programme with Skills for Care which looks to develop the commissioning workforce. There were some concerns about the qualification focused approach being taken but there are some likely implications for children’s services and ADCS in light of the social care commissioning academy. This will be picked up in future meetings.


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