CONSULTATION FOR THE ASSESSMENT AND ACCREDITATION OF CHILD AND FAMILY SOCIAL WORKERS
We are delighted to be launching the consultation for the new National Assessment and Accreditation System for child and family social workers (NAAS) and would like to thank you for your contribution so far.
The expertise of child and family social workers is integral to our vision as set out in Putting Children First July 2016, and we all have a collective responsibility to do what we can to support and develop social workers throughout their careers. The accreditation system will provide, for the first time, a consistent way of providing assurance that child and family social workers, supervisors and leaders have the knowledge and skills for effective practice. It will also provide a clear benchmark of expertise and quality of practice for child and family social workers. Your contributions have been invaluable in helping us deliver this ambition and we couldn’t have come to this point without you.
Thank you to those of you who participated in the series of roundtable events held over the summer in Darlington, London, Coventry, Manchester, Sheffield, and Taunton and for sharing your views on the rollout of NAAS. More than 185 people attended, including Directors of Children’s Services, Practice Leaders, Heads of Service and PSWs, representing 98 local areas. This provided us with valuable insight into how the system can be introduced to minimise disruption to workforces, and what you need in order to embed this new system within your own arrangements.
Contributions to the Practice Endorsement events held nationally over the summer also provided us with key information on developing the practice endorsement guidance designed to support employers in making their judgements about whether their social workers have the knowledge and skills needed to meet the expected standard. Further thanks are owed to you and your teams for contributing to its development. The practice endorsement guidance will be made available shortly.
In phase one we will work with 31 volunteer local authorities to accredit their workforces and we will be sharing the lessons from this experience. In parallel to the work with the volunteer local authorities, we intend to undertake the assessment and accreditation of all social workers who started their Assisted Year in Employment (ASYE) from November 2014 and are carrying out statutory duties.
Sam Manners is the lead official in supporting employers to engage with the roll out. His team will be in contact with ASYE coordinators to discuss how best the department can support the roll out in each area. We expect that the assessments will take place in the second half of 2017.
We would also like to take the opportunity to let you know that we are currently in the process of developing the assessment and accreditation materials for practice leaders and will be in touch about this in the near future.
The consultation will run for twelve weeks; closing date is 14 March 2017. We would encourage everyone to take this opportunity to submit their views.