The Scottish Social Services Council has published their annual report and accounts for 1 April 2016 – 31 March 2017.
Publication of the revised Codes of Practice and moving to a fitness to practise model of regulation were two major achievements in 2016-17. The Codes hadn’t been updated since they were first published in 2003 and this new revision aims to ensure they reflect current practice and policy.
The SSSC also changed their model of regulation from misconduct to fitness to practise. The new model allows more resources to deployed on high risk cases and since its introduction there has been a reduction in low risk cases benefiting from a this more proportionate, risk-based approach.
Anna Fowlie, Chief Executive of the SSSC said: "I’m delighted that we made two major changes last year by publishing the revised Codes of Practice and moving to a fitness to practise model of regulation. Both were major projects which involved extensive consultation with social service workers, employers and other key stakeholders and I’d like to thank them for their vital contribution.
"Social services are hugely important as every one of us will use, or know someone who uses, social services every day. The sector employs around one in 13 of people employed in Scotland so it’s a big economic contributor too.
"Our annual report shows the work we’ve done over the last year is focused on making sure social service workers have the right skills, values and confidence to work with people to a very high standard of competence and safety.
"We are working in partnership with an ever-widening range of stakeholders and with public protection at the core of everything we do."
Other highlights from the 2016-17 annual report include.
- In March 2017 there were 97,353 people on the Register compared to 93,129 in March 2016. That will increase each year until 2020 as the Register opens to new groups of social service workers. The social service workforce as a whole is now over 200,000 people.
- A major stream of work began to support people attending hearings with a video made by SSSC staff to demystify the process. Next year the hope will be to increase attendance and representation at hearings.
- The SSSC have a range of Ambassador programmes, including careers and dementia. Their Career Ambassadors promoted careers in social services to over 1,000 people and a further 245 Dementia Ambassadors were recruited, bringing the total to 1,265.
- The Open Badges are proving popular with the sector with over 12,000 visits to the website. They play an important part in valuing all learning, for example the SSSC have worked closely with the Scottish Childminders Association on recognising the unique skills of childminders.
- SSSC published phase two of their Review of Social Work Education and are now moving into the implementation phase with Scottish Government, universities and employers.