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‘Partners in Practice’ authorities first to face accreditation
There are eight children’s services that the Government plans to test the assessment process in.
The plans made by the government will initially rollout across “whole workforces” at the 8 partners in practice authorities, as ministers feel that these are the “best performing” authorities in England, the children’s chief social worker has said.
Newly qualified social workers that are undertaking their assessed and supported year within the children’s services at these authorities will also be expected to make themselves available for accreditation.
The move is yet to undergo a consultation and will represent the first phase of the accreditation rollout and follow an earlier pilot of the assessment with almost 1,000 practitioners.
The 8 partners in practice authorities are;
The rollout to only the partners in practice plans to aid the Department for Education in assessing the impact of the introduction of accreditation at a smaller scale, ahead of a wider expansion. It will also help in the decision-making in regards to whether the tests should or shouldn’t be mandatory.
Isabelle Trowler, the children’s chief social worker said:
“I think we’ve some way to go before I would say this needs to be mandatory. In the first instance, probably over the next year, we want to roll out accreditation across whole workforces starting with our partners in practice and newly qualified social workers coming into the system.
“We need to see what happens when you accredit a whole workforce because, of course, people are really concerned over whether this will generate instability. There are also questions about what happens if someone doesn’t pass first time, what are the development opportunities for them, and how do you manage that as a practice system?
“So I think we’ve got to go through that process first before we take a decision. Ultimately it will be a decision for government about whether it makes this mandatory.”
The Department for Education said that the partners in practice authorities will be expected to encourage their workforces to gain accreditation and all children’s social workers undertaking the assessed and supported year will be expected to gain accreditation.