Training of Social Workers

Responding to an enquiry from Community Care about social work training, Rachael Wardell, Chair of the ADCS Workforce Development Policy Committee, said:

“Social workers help families overcome the challenges they face and protect children and young people from harm. The landscape in which they operate is complex and children’s social workers will always need training, skills and knowledge on issues affecting adults and their ability to parent effectively and vice versa.

“Though progress has been made in terms of social work education there are still too many gaps and inconsistencies and as employers we are concerned that too many social workers qualify but don’t practice and that too many practice but only for a short period of time. The profession must be taken forward in a consistent and holistic way and ADCS would welcome an open and honest debate around the different training options that are available going forwards, including splitting the degree course into specialisms either at the beginning of the course or part way through. A sharper focus on the practical skills social workers require and alternative entry routes should also be part of this wider debate.”


The Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) Ltd is the professional leadership association for Directors of Children’s Services and their senior management teams in England.

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