HC Deb 24 February 2003 vol 400 cc375-6W
Tim Loughton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what level of specialisation in child care and child protection practice will be included in the new three year Diploma in Social Work. [96106]

Jacqui Smith

The training for the new social work degree has an emphasis on learning for practice. There is a requirement for students to spend a minimum of 2002 days learning in practice in at least two settings, to include statutory social work tasks involving legal intervention and of providing services to at least two user groups. Training providers must also ensure that students undertake specific learning in a number of key areas including communication skills with children, adults and those with particular communication needs. Partnership working and information sharing across professional disciplines and agencies must also be covered. I have placed a copy of the Requirements for Social Work in the Library.

On qualification there are opportunities for further training in specialist areas such as childcare. As part of the reform of social work education, the General Social Care Council (GSCC) is undertaking a review of the current framework for post-qualifying training for social work. This will include a review of the PQ Child Care Award.