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Maree Allison Keep the Promise (image)

28 Jun 2024

Social service workforce SSSC corporate

SSSC welcomes Plan 24-30, Scotland’s route map to Keep the Promise

Maree Allison, Interim Chief Executive at the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) welcomes Plan 24-30 and underlines our commitment to realising the ambitions of The Promise.

Plan 24-30

On 29 June 2024, The Promise Scotland published Plan 24-30, Scotland’s route map to #KeepthePromise made in 2020 ‘that all children in Scotland would grow up loved, safe and respected’. The plan identifies what needs to be done, by who and by when, before 2030 and is the next stage of the original plan which covered 2021-24. Plan 24-30 groups all call to actions from the Independent Care Review under five foundations: voice, family, care, people and scaffolding.

Read Plan 24-30

Our commitment

Maree Allison, Interim Chief Executive said:

‘I am pleased to see Plan 24-30 come into effect and welcome the recommendations.

‘The Promise remains at the heart of our work and we are committed to playing our part to Keep the Promise with an exciting and innovative programme of work ahead.

‘This includes our plan to develop a new resource for workers to help children and young people understand what SSSC Codes of Practice mean for them and supporting implementation of the revised Common Core for the Children’s workforce which sets out the values, skills and knowledge expected of everyone who works with children and young people.

‘We will make sure in our role both as the regulator and the lead for developing this workforce that we continue to promote the Promise and to keep this work visible across everything we do’.

Our progress

A Register for the future
When the Independent Care Review called on regulators to ‘declutter and streamline professional codes, procedures and processes’ we acted.

In November 2021 we started work to improve and streamline registration to make it simpler, easier to understand and for people to know about the benefits and value of being registered and the standards, skills and qualifications needed to deliver high quality care.

We reduced the Register from 23 parts to four: social workers, social work students, social care worker and children and young people worker. This change makes it easier for people applying to register to know which part to choose. We introduced ongoing registration with an annual declaration removing the need for registrants to renew registration every three or five years, which will help keep the Register up to date.

Revised Codes of Practice
We revised the Codes of Practice to reflect what is important in current practice. The Codes now make clearer links to the Health and Social Care Standards, and reflect the importance of kindness, compassion and involvement in decision making. We’ve added a new Code on working in a way that is informed by an understanding of the impact of trauma.

Qualifications and skills
We’re taking a more flexible approach to qualifications, accepting our benchmark qualifications for more parts of the Register than we did before, to allow registrants to move between different types of services more easily to support new models of care delivery and career pathways and opportunities.

If people move from children to adult services, or vice versa, we’ll ask them to complete extra learning, for example, adult or child protection instead of completing a further qualification.

We’ve changed our continuous professional learning (CPL) for registrants to better support the needs of the workforce, focusing on key skills and knowledge depending on role and career stage. We have developed a new CPL website to help registrants find relevant learning opportunities specific to their role.

We introduced return to practice requirements for social workers who have been out of practice and not registered for over two years. This allows returning social workers to update their knowledge, skills and competence while building their confidence to practice. Social workers returning to practice must demonstrate learning across four themes as part of their registration application, including adult and child protection.

Corporate parenting responsibilities
We’ve just published our next care experience (corporate parenting) and children’s rights reports. These reports set out further information on our recent progress and our planned activities over the next three years.

What’s next

Common Core for the Children’s Workforce
We are leading work with children and young people and key stakeholders to refresh and embed the Common Core of Skills, Knowledge and Understanding and Values for the Children’s Workforce in Scotland. The revised framework will be published later this summer.

The revised Common Core will require an implementation plan and support to make sure that it is meaningful and helps to drive values-based recruitment and workforce development. The Children’s Services Reform Unit in Scottish Government will lead implementation. We will support implementation of the refreshed Comon Core.

National Occupational Standards (NOS) review
We are working with our UK sector skills partners to undertake a review of the National Occupational Standards (NOS). The NOS describe the knowledge, skills and understanding that a worker needs to be competent at their job. All qualifications accepted by the SSSC to meet qualification requirements are underpinned by the NOS. The review will identify current skills gaps such as trauma informed practice. The review will revise the language and strengthen elements of the current qualifications to meet ambitions in The Promise such as upholding and promoting rights and compassionate care. We will consider children’s views as part of the review.

Codes of Practice resource
Members of our Codes project team attended service design training delivered by The Promise Design School. We are now developing an additional resource for the workforce to help the children and young people they support to understand and engage with the Codes.

Supporting vulnerable fitness to practise witnesses
Although rare, care experienced children and young people may be asked to attend a hearing as a witness. We offer support to all vulnerable witnesses, including assigning a hearings officer to support before, during and after a hearing. We can put other special measures in place to protect vulnerable witnesses when giving evidence in hearings, including using a video link, using pre-recorded evidence or using a screen.

We are looking to secure an advocacy and intermediary service for witnesses and members of the public complainants. We are also considering further improvements as part of the Open University’s Witness to Harm project, examining witnesses’ experiences of fitness to practise hearings.

Keep up to date

We will continue to provide updates of the progress we have made to #KeepThePromise and raise awareness of The Promise and why it is critical to the SSSC and to the social work, social care and children and young people workforce across Scotland.  

Contact information

Nichola Stark
Communications Officer
Scottish Social Services Council