The Social Work Task Force recommended national standards for the support social workers should expect from their employers and managers in order to do their jobs effectively (recommendation 6). It also recommended national requirements for the supervision of social workers (recommendation 7).

The standards for employers and the supervision framework are now ready for implementation. 

All employers of social workers should:

  • Have in place a social work accountability framework informed by knowledge of good social work practice and the experience and expertise of service users, carers and practitioners.

  • Use effective workforce planning systems to make sure the right number of social workers, with the right level of skills and experience, are available to meet current and future service demands.

  • Implement transparent systems to manage workload and case allocation to protect service users and practitioners.

  • Make sure social workers can do their jobs safely and have the practical tools and resources they need to practise effectively. Employers should assess risks and take action to minimise and prevent them.

  • Ensure social workers have regular and appropriate social work supervision.

  • Provide opportunities for continuing professional development, as well as access to research and practice guidance.

  • Ensure social workers can maintain their professional registration.

  • Establish effective partnerships with higher education institutions and other organisations to support the delivery of social work education and continuing professional development.

Supervision should:

  • Improve the quality of decision-making and interventions.

  • Enable effective line management and organisational accountability.

  • Identify and address issues related to caseloads and workload management.

  • Help to identify and achieve personal learning, career and development opportunities.

Contact details

Social Work Reform Board
Department for Education
Sanctuary Buildings
Great Smith Street