The college has recently opened its doors to new members who wish to get in on the ground floor in shaping the organisation through its early development. Goals for the college is to help shore up the profession in the aftermath of the Baby Peter tragedy.
However the drive for recruitment may be overshadowed by controversy regarding the structure of the College of Social Work. Additionally there is speculation that a rival body may be launched by the British Association of Social Workers as well.
The college’s creation came at the recommendation of a governmental social task force to rebuild the image and confidence of the profession. Thanks to a series of scandals that culminated in the tragic death of Peter Connelly, measures to institute reforms were put into place.
The formal launch of the college is scheduled for some time in 2012. However the essential framework has been put in place and the college has begun to solicit prospective membership applications from associates, students, and social workers.
The college’s interim co-chair Maurice Bates commented that social workers need to participate in the development of the membership services of the college. Social workers have a unique opportunity to effect change in their profession through membership, Mr Bates added.
Prospective membership carries no fee for those who sign up. As services such as public liability insurance come on stream, prospective members will be permitted to make use of them.
Other services include a peer-reviewed journal, a magazine, and the controversial inclusion of being represented by Unison, the public services union.
While professionals in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales are only permitted to apply for associate status in the college, all social workers in England are welcome to apply for prospective membership.