Social work strategy

The NI social work strategy 2012-2022 sets out a framework for social work practice and aims to strengthen and support the social work profession to deliver high quality, effective and safe service in a challenging and changing environment. It seeks to improve understanding of the profession, what it does and what can realistically be expected to do.

Improving and safeguarding social wellbeing: a strategy for social work in Northern Ireland

Ten strategic priorities to build a strong foundation for social work now and into the future are identified and these are categorised under three inter-dependent themes: strengthening the capacity of the workforce; Improving social work services; building leadership and trust in the profession.

A whole systems approach is being taken to implement the strategy involving key players in the delivery system for social workers as well as service users and carers.

The implementation of the strategy will be a driver to improve outcomes for service users and strengthen the effectiveness and reputation of social work and social workers.

Review of the roles and deployment of senior and principal social work practitioners in Northern Ireland – June 2014

The DHSSPS commissioned SCIE to carry out a review of the roles and deployment of the senior and principal social work practitioner (SP and PP) roles in Northern Ireland.

The findings of the review indicate wide-spread support for a practitioner career pathway across the UK and would cite NI as being further ahead of other countries in the UK in this regard having introduced SPs in 1994 and PPs in 2006.  

However, the review also identifies inconsistencies in job descriptions and requirements and roles and responsibilities across bands 7 and 8a social work posts, including the SP and PP roles. The report outlines a number of next steps which will be considered by the DHSSPS and the HSC Board and will inform decisions regarding future workforce planning and deployment of SPs and PPs in Northern Ireland to achieve greater consistency and ensure social work skills and expertise are available where they are most needed.