Remit, approach & definitions
The 21st Century Social Work Review was commissioned by Ministers in the summer of 2004.
Its overall aim was to take a fundamental look at all aspects of social work in order to strengthen its contribution to the delivery of integrated services.
It had six main objectives:
- To clearly define the role and purpose of social workers and the social work profession
- To identify improvements in the organisation and delivery of social work services
- To develop a strong quality improvement framework and culture, supported by robust inspection
- To strengthen leadership and management giving clear direction to the service
- To ensure a competent and confident workforce
- To review and if necessary to modernise legislation.
The review has been led and overseen by an independent review group, supported by a series of working groups reporting to it:
- Role of the social worker sub group
- Performance improvement sub group
- Leadership and management sub group
- Stakeholder group
- Users and carers panel.
Annex C sets out the membership of the various groups.
Annex B summarises the various sources of evidence considered in reaching our conclusions. The main sources of evidence are available in full on the accompanying CD or the 21st Century Social Work Review website www.21csocialwork.org.uk
Terminology and scope
Although the review has looked across the breadth of social work services, it has not been our remit to look in detail at the full range of social care services.
When we refer to social work services, we refer to all services provided by local authorities and to commissioned services provided by the voluntary and private sectors to meet the identified needs of the communities they serve.
When we refer to social workers we refer to those people who hold a recognised social work professional qualification and a current registration with the Scottish Social Services Council.
When we refer to the social service workforce, we refer to the whole workforce of people engaged in the delivery of social work services, whoever their employer may be. The social service workforce as defined in legislation includes the early education and child care workers, which is subject to a separate review and excludes other professionals such as occupational therapists. For our purposes, we consider the workforce to be made up of social workers, occupational therapists and other professionals, social work and occupational therapy assistants, care workers, residential care staff and support staff.