Today, I am pleased to announce the publication of my first annual report as Chief Social Worker for Adults, since taking up the post in September 2013. The past year has seen significant changes in the landscape of health and social care, which will impact everyone who works in or uses care and support services.
For the first time, the role of Chief Social Worker has given the profession a voice and influence at the heart of government. As such, it represents an important step in recognising the vital role social workers play in achieving best outcomes for people.
Changes in policy and legislation, such as the Care Act 2014 and the Mental Capacity Act, place the values of social work – person centred, empowering partnership approaches and the principle of wellbeing – at the heart of adult social care. This is a fantastic opportunity for social workers to be on the front foot, developing strong, practice leadership in integrated, multidisciplinary settings.
My report looks back at what’s been achieved for social work with adults in the year since my appointment; sets out my priorities for the year ahead; and finally, makes some recommendations and challenges for government and the sector, which I believe are required if we are to create a confident profession, sure of its role and contribution.
The report is now available here and I hope you will spend some time reading it and sharing your views with me, particularly if you think there are other priorities or areas that need addressing in the coming year.
I have had a great year meeting social workers across the country. I want to take this opportunity to thank them for taking the time to engage with me in discussions on continuing to improve practice and addressing the challenges in social care.