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General Social Care Council | Social Work Connections

In this issue:

07 December 2011

Section 1

Introduction

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Section 2

News

Section 3

Features

December 2011 • Issue 15

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Welcome to the December 2011 issue of Social Work Connections.

Read about our recently launched professional boundaries guidance and how it can help you deal with difficult situations. We also have a new online resource which complements the guidance by providing hypothetical examples of possible professional boundaries dilemmas. Rather than giving a prescriptive "right" answer, you are given the opportunity to compare your answers with those of your peers and are directed to appropriate parts of the GSCC's codes of practice for further guidance.

You can also vote in our poll on the www.socialworkconnections.org.uk site which asks if you have ever faced a situation where you or a colleague risked breaching professional boundaries and what you did when faced with this difficult situation.

We hear from a recently retired social worker reflecting on his lengthy career, with almost 20 years of it spent on the frontline "knocking on doors", and the many highs and lows a career in social work brought.

We also recap on how our recent social worker events around the country have been going.

The College of Social Work opens its doors to full members in January - read about what The College could offer you.

As you know, the General Social Care Council is closing at the end of July 2012 (subject to Royal Assent) and the Health Professions Council will be taking over our regulatory responsibilities. This means that the final issue of Social Work Connections will be out in June next year and so we urge you to make the most of these final three newsletters; letting us know what you think by posting a comment on an article, or sharing your opinions with other social workers and students by joining our private forum on our main website: www.gscc.org.uk/login.php .

We hope you enjoy reading and interacting with this issue and remember to tell us what you think!

The Health and Social Care Bill update

Peers discuss a paper in the House of Lords © UKParliament

The Health and Social Care Bill, which contains the legislation to transfer the functions of the GSCC to the Health Professions Council (HPC), completed its progress through the House of Commons in September and received its Second Reading in the House of Lords at the start of October. Read more

The GSCC's new approach to health assessments

Social worker fills out a GSCC health consent form © Trisram Dawahoo

When someone applies for registration with the GSCC we have to make sure we are satisfied that they are physically and mentally fit to perform the duties of a social worker.
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GSCC: "Registration of social work students should continue in the future"

A panel host takes a question from his audience © zeroinfluencer

The Health Professions Council's (HPC) launched a consultation on student fitness to practise and registration last month.
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GSCC launch professional boundaries guidance for social workers

A copy of the Professional Boundaries guidance report © TrisramDawahoo

On 21 November 2011 we launched professional boundaries guidance for social workers and social work students. Following the continual monitoring of cases that result in social workers appearing at conduct hearings, we found one issue that frequently resulted in such appearances has been social workers breaching professional boundaries.

To help us decide what we could best do to help address this issue we commissioned two pieces of research , one involving focus groups with service users and one involving a review of available literature on this subject. The key messages from these research reports were, firstly, the considerable harm that professional boundaries violations can have on service users and, secondly, the inadvisability of attempting to address this problem through issuing a list of ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’.

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Social Work Connections – the newsletter for social workers and students

Screen image of the Social Work Connections e-newsletter © GSCC

As most of you will be aware, the General Social Care Council’s regulatory powers are being transferred over to the Health Professions Council (HPC) from 31 July 2012, subject to Royal Assent.
Read more

A retrospective on a career in social work

Image of Mark Doel © authorsown

My name is Mark Doel and I qualified as a social worker in 1974. My career has taken me through direct practice, teaching, training, researching and writing, and I feel lucky to have experienced such a wide range of social work roles.
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Clearer understanding needed between the roles of regulator and professional body

Graphic of a pie chart © GSCC

Half of the respondents to our last Social Work Connections poll said they do not have a clear understanding of the differences between the role of the regulator and a professional body.
Read more