Government's proposals for a new regulator for social workers

Department for Education

November 3
16:56 2016

We are proposing a series of changes to the Children and Social Work Bill following discussion with members of the House of Lords and sector stakeholders over the summer. Our proposed amendments to part 2 of the bill (published on 1 November 2016) cover the establishment of a bespoke social work regulator.

The proposed changes will establish a new separate legal entity, Social Work England, as regulator of social workers. Social Work England will:

  • have a clear focus on professional regulation to ensure public protection
  • operate at arms length from government, ensuring an appropriate separation between the regulator and ministers
  • have clear lines of accountability
  • maintain a register of social workers
  • run fitness to practise hearings
  • set initial education and training standards, and raise these over time
  • set professional standards, and raise these over time

The bill also provides for independent oversight of Social Work England by the Professional Standards Authority.

Our supplementary policy statement sets out these changes to the draft legislation in more detail.

The bill continues in report stage in the House of Lords on 8 November 2016.

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