Drive For Excellence In Social Work With Older People – Launch Of College ‘White Paper’

Proposals for delivering excellent social work to older people were unveiled by The College of Social Work with the launch of its ‘white paper’ Excellent social work with older people: a discussion paper, on Wednesday 14 January 2015.

The document kicked off a debate about what excellence in social work means and how it could make a difference to older people.

Led by The College’s Adults’ Faculty; user groups, older people, their families, carers and social workers, will be consulted on the proposals which call for:

  • employers of social workers to make it clear to older people in their communities how social work can support them and how they can access services
  • commissioners, employers, and the wider social work professions to recognise social work with older people as a specialist area of practice
  • clarification and strengthening of the role of social workers in policy and guidance relevant to older people
  • research evidence to be properly utilised to ensure social work with older people continues to evolve and improve
  • the lived experiences of older people to be central to the continued improvement of this area of social work practice.

Feedback from the consultation will go towards a final document detailing the capabilities and conditions required for excellent social work with older people. Initial findings will be released at TCSW conference in March this year, followed by publication of final reports in May.

Bernard Walker, Chair of the Adults’ Faculty said:
“Our aim is to create the right conditions and opportunities for social workers to improve the lives of older people by ensuring they receive excellent social work.

“We know there are pockets of excellent practice out there; we have seen the difference it makes to individuals, families and communities, and how it improves the use of resources. We want this to become the norm for all older people no matter where they live.

“Our paper sets out our initial thoughts on what needs to be done, but we want the views of the people that count, so we can agree on the capabilities and conditions needed to provide excellent social work for older people.

“Their responses will go towards our final document which we’ll use as our call to action for social workers, commissioners and stakeholders to ensure excellent social work for older people.”

Feedback can be sent to The College via email; or views can be passed on by taking part in a short online survey. For further details visit











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