Falkirk's social service workers mark 20 years of regulated care for the vulnerable

The key role social service workers play in supporting people through the COVID-19 crisis has been highlighted as the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001 marks its 20th anniversary.

By James Trimble
Monday, 5th October 2020, 3:40 pm

The Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001 set a vision for a registered, qualified and professional social service workforce with Codes of Practice setting the behaviours and values every worker must work to.

It meant social service workers in a wide range of roles – from social workers to day care of children workers and care home workers to residential childcare workers – have to register with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC).

SSSC registration requires workers to hold, or be working towards, a relevant qualification for their role and work to the SSSC Codes of Practice.

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Scottish Social Services Council is marking 20 years of the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001

There are 166,282 people on the SSSC Register – this represents 80 per cent of the total social service workforce in Scotland.

Lorraine Gray, SSSC chief executive said: ‘The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the social care, social work and early years workforce into the public eye and shown they are a professional, qualified and skilled workforce with parity alongside other similar roles, such as health.

“The aspiration of the original legislation passed almost 20 years ago to protect people who use social services is coming to fruition with people in social care and early years joining social work to create a fully qualified, accountable workforce.

“The stories we’ve heard from the sector about how they’ve coped in the most challenging circumstances are just awe inspiring and it’s these individuals who have helped services to continue delivering high quality care to the people who need it most.

“The Scottish Government’s independent review of adult social care is an opportunity to acknowledge those workers, giving them not only the recognition they deserve for the life changing work they do but also the opportunity to change the way society values their role.

“What comes through most of all are the values and compassion of workers, many of whom could never imagine doing anything else, such is their commitment and dedication.”

According to the SSSC, adult social care contributes more than £13 billion each year to the Scottish economy, which is more than agriculture, forestry and fishing.