Guest blog: Lyn Romeo on regulating the social work profession

Our guest blog this month is from Lyn Romeo, who has acted as Chief Social Worker for Adults since September 2013In this role, Lyn continues to champion the highest standards of person-centred practice, continuing professional development and social work’s capacity to transform lives for the better. In this blog, she explains her involvement with Social Work England, including her position as part of the professional expert group.

We are well on the way to having our own dedicated regulator and I am very pleased to be part of the professional expert group helping to shape it. The role of the group is to provide professional advice, guidance and input into the work of Social Work England on professional standards, as well as offering support and challenge.

There is representation on the group from across the profession, as well as people with whom social workers work alongside. This is so important as social work practice is distinguished by its use of collaborative and partnership approaches to enable people to have the best possible lives. The group includes representatives from BASW, Youth Justice Board, Shaping our Lives, Skills for Care, Principal Social Workers from both adults and child and family networks, and social work educators.

It is important that Social Work England engages with the profession to consider how we can do things better and drive forward change from the old to the new.

Over the coming months, we will be responding to consultations from Social Work England on both rules and standards. The regulations require Social Work England to consult when making rules, providing an opportunity for people to contribute further to the development and operation of the organisation.

It is also very important that people for whom social work is there to serve also have their say. For example, I know that Social Work England routinely meets with an experts by experience group. They too are providing advice and guidance on professional standards based on the support, care and solutions they expect to receive from their social worker.

In true social work fashion, we are striving to work collaboratively, acting as a critical friend to Social Work England and contributing individual expertise as key partners with an active interest in the success of the organisation.

Over the coming months, there will be further opportunities for you to engage through consultation events, appearances at national and local conferences as well as updates and opportunities to share views through the Social Work England website and social media channels.  I do hope that all social workers will engage with the consultation and this unique opportunity to help shape new approaches to improve our profession. By joining the conversation, you will help to ensure that we have a regulator that is firmly grounded in reality and fit for purpose.