Scotland can rely on high quality social services delivered by a trusted, skilled and confident workforce that give confidence in care.
That was the message today from Mark McDonald MSP, Minister for Childcare and Early Years, as he launched the revised Codes of Practice for Social Service Workers and Employers published by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC). The Codes, first introduced in 2003, set standards of behaviour and practice that all workers and employers in social services must meet.
The SSSC revised the Codes of Practice following a wide ranging consultation to make sure they reflect current social service policy and practice. They also take into account the SSSC’s move to a fitness to practise model of regulation which also comes into effect on 1 November 2016.
Minister for Childcare and Early Years Mark McDonald (pictured), said: "I am delighted to launch the Codes of Practice today, which have been developed following consultation with the sector and take account of the changing landscape of service delivery, as well as the skills and support needs of social service staff.
"Social service practice and delivery has changed considerably since the SSSC’s Codes were first introduced. Therefore the revised Codes will have an important role in setting the standards and behaviours for both employers and workers throughout the sector."
Anna Fowlie, Chief Executive of the SSSC said: "The Codes of Practice set the core values, practice and behaviour that underpin the delivery of high quality services and care. They are for workers and for employers as the two go hand-in-hand and quality services rely on good practice by both.
"The Codes are a fundamental tool to protect the public and drive good practice and continuous improvement. They also link to the National Care Standards.
"Today we are also moving to a fitness to practise model of regulation to make sure we can protect the public and that the process is fair and proportionate. We are also launching our new supervision resource to help employers make sure people working in social services are well supported; which is crucial in this challenging work."
Karen Reid, Chief Executive of the Care Inspectorate, said: "The Care Inspectorate welcomes the revised SSSC Codes of Practice, which reflect important developments in social work and social care. The Codes complement our work improving the quality of care services by setting out the national standards that apply to all social service employers and workers in Scotland. The Codes should help employers and workers continually improve their practice and they also let people who use social services and carers know what they can expect from the workforce that supports them.
"We expect all employers to adhere to the Codes of Practice and demonstrate their responsibility to support employees to achieve the standards of care that we expect to see when we inspect and support improvement. While most care services in Scotland perform well, we have a duty to provide public protection and assurance so will not hesitate to take action to support improvement or require change where providers do not meet the expectations set out in the Codes."
The Minister launched the revised Codes of Practice at a frontline practitioner event attended by over 100 social work and social service managers at the University of Stirling.