§ Mrs. Renée Short
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what arrangements are being made for approval of social workers under the Mental Health Act 1983, following the expiry of the arrangements to give transitional approval to certain social workers; and if he will make a statement;
(2) if he will make a statement on his Department's discussions with local authority associations, the Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work and the National and Local Government Officers Association about the current Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work proposals for new training courses for social workers; what issues are still outstanding; and when he expects the full implementation of longer term arrangements for approved social workers under the Mental Health Act 1983.
§ Mrs. Currie
[pursuant to her reply, 22 January 1987]: Discussions took place with the local authority associations the Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work and the National and Local Government Officers Association last year and culminated in an agreement on arrangements for approving social workers under the Mental Health Act 1983. Local authorities were notified of the agreement in November 1986 (local authority circular (86)15).822W
The new arrangements will take time to implement fully and the transitional arrangements will continue until 27 October 1988. For the future, social workers who are to be considered for approval will, among other things, be required to complete a training course approved by CCETSW. Regulations and guidance on the approval of courses will be issued by CCETSW in the near future.
The only issue outstanding is the question of resources. Officials have discussed with CCETSW their likely costs for the exercise and we are now considering the position. We have also agreed with the local authority associations to consider jointly with them the extra costs that will be incurred by authorities in training social workers for these duties.