WD April 2016 Update

Update for the April meeting of the ADCS Council of Reference

The Workforce Development Policy Committee has not met since the last meeting of Council of Reference however the next meeting is imminent.

The committee has remained active since the last meeting in January, submitting formal written evidence to the Education Select Committee inquiry into social work reform. Following this, ADCS was invited to provide oral evidence to the Select Committee and Barbara Peacock, ADCS Honorary Secretary and DCS at Medway, took part in a panel discussion along with Councillor Roy Perry, LGA and Professor Ray Jones.

As the work linked to social work reform intensifies, the Chair of the committee has been involved in a number of groups and discussions at the national level. An ‘Employer Endorsement Reference Group’ has been established by the consortium commissioned by Department for Education to develop employer endorsement guidance for child and family social workers. The group has been convened to act as a critical friend and had its first meeting earlier in April. Initial discussions have also taken place with ADASS, Department for Education and Department of Health regarding the establishment of a new regulatory body.

The committee recently published the findings from the social work caseload survey conducted during 2015. The results of the survey showed a manageable caseload depends on a variety of factors, including the complexity of individual cases, the mix of cases in a caseload, the level of experience of a social worker, and the availability of appropriate support. The survey did identify a number of local authorities who use caseload management tools to help in the allocation of cases. Four examples of caseload management tools were included in the report.

The higher apprenticeship standards for Children, Young People and Family Practitioner and Children, Young People and Family Manager have now been approved by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. The trailblazer core group has now turned its attention to the development of an assessment plan for each of the apprenticeships. The assessment plan will be subject to a consultation period. It is anticipated this will take place towards the end of April and will be publicised via the ADCS bulletin.

The Workforce Development Policy Committee is next due to meet on Friday 22 April in London. Colleagues from the Department for Education are attending the meeting to discuss social work reform.

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