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CLIMBIE INQUIRY: GENERAL SOCIAL CARE COUNCIL OUTLINES ITS WORK

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The General Social Care Council, the new regulatory body for the social care ...
The General Social Care Council, the new regulatory body for the social care

workforce in England, has outlined its work to the Climbié inquiry along

with views on the issues raised in phase II of the inquiry's work.

The GSCC was set up on 1 October 2001. It was

established in England under the Care Standards Act 2000 to set codes of

conduct and practice for social care workers and employers, to set up a

register of social care workers and to regulate social work education and

training. Similar bodies exist in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Rodney Brooke, chair of the GSCC, said the council had considered it

important to provide evidence to the inquiry about the new regulatory

framework the GSCC brings.

Mr Brooke said: 'Although we are at the beginning of our work, the

introduction of the GSCC's new codes of conduct and the establishment, for

the first time, of a register of all social care workers will be highly

pertinent to this inquiry. Certainly the inquiry has caused the public and

the media to question the absence of any regulation until now, and

underlined the importance of our work. Although the GSCC cannot say 'we

would have prevented this tragedy', we believe that our work and the work of

the other bodies established under the Care Standards Act will raise

standards and increase protection for the people who use social care

services.'

The statement from the GSCC was presented to the inquiry's second phase,

which considered the recommendations they should make to the secretary of

state for health and the home secretary to prevent a tragedy such as this in

the future. The inquiry team has welcomed the idea of a paper from the GSCC

on the issues raised by this case.

The GSCC statement sets out how its regulatory powers will contribute to

raising standards. Although still in draft form and currently under

development, the GSCC's codes of conduct and practice for social care

workers and employers will provide a framework to guide the work of all

those involved in social care. The codes are in the process of being revised

following a three month consultation process. It is intended to publish them

in the Summer of 2002.

The GSCC is also developing the rules and procedures that will underpin the

registration of social care workers. The register will open in Spring 2003

and the GSCC will start the process of initial registration from that date.

It will take some years for the register to be complete. The first category

of people to be registered will be qualified social workers. Other priority

groups will be staff working with children and managers of care homes.

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