13/04/2011 - Permalink

New Social Work Practice pilot scheme

Related topics: Community / Health

Shropshire Council is proud to announce that it has won its bid to pilot a national scheme which will look at innovative ways of providing social work support that will create new opportunities for individuals to become more active and independent.

The funding for the Social Work Practice (SWP) pilot scheme was today (Wednesday 13 April 2011) announced by Care Services Minister Paul Burstow, and could benefit up to 1,800 vulnerable adults in the county.  This scheme will help reduce bureaucracy and will allow social workers to spend more time directly with vulnerable adults, and allow them to be creative about the way they work.

Shropshire Council is just one of six councils across England to pilot the Department of Health’s national scheme to test different ways of supporting vulnerable adults.  The Social Care Institute for Excellence will oversee the project on behalf of the Department of Health.

The Social Work Practice pilots are organisations that are led by social workers but independent of councils.  They will provide the social work services for specific groups of adults in their community and their carers.

Here in Shropshire the Social Work Practice pilot scheme will allow a group of social workers to set up their own practice under a not-for-profit social enterprise, and employ their own specialists.  The Social Work Practice in Shropshire will work with older people, people with physical disabilities and those with learning disabilities, and will:

  • Help individuals at the first stage of contact by providing support to maximise their independence through rehabilitation and enablement services
  • Provide advice, support and access to new support technologies
  • Work alongside other community organisations to help identify the right support within local communities
  • Develop peer support and advice networks
  • Work more closely with the individual to discuss their support needs
  • Allocate Personal Budgets to those who are eligible
  • Explore new and alternative options with individuals when developing their support plans
  • Arrange services / organise support
  • Carry out carers’ assessments and reviews
  • Providing ongoing information, advice, support

Care Services Minister, Paul Burstow, said:

“The Coalition is determined to give people more control over their care and support.

“Our plans will free-up frontline social workers to do what they do best: help people maintain their independence.  This shift in power will give people greater control over their care and support.”

This is all evident from the plans of Shropshire’s Social Work Practice pilot, which promotes personalisation and aims to support people to improve their independence and standard of living.

Councillor Keith Barrow, Leader of Shropshire Council, said:

“The Social Work Practice pilot will offer a fantastic opportunity for our social care professionals in Shropshire to have more control over their work, that will place the individual at the heart of their practice.  Local residents seeking social care support will benefit from quicker decision-making and receive a more personal and enhanced support, that is much more tailored to their individual needs.”

Councillor Simon Jones, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for adult social care, said:

“This is a very exciting opportunity to test new ways of working that focuses on offering more choice and control to those individuals eligible for adult social care in Shropshire.  The practice will be able to be more responsive to their needs, as decision-making will be made at a closer level to them, rather than being referred up levels of management.”

Sarah Dillon, Team Manager at Shropshire Council, commented:

“We look forward to working innovatively on this new initiative that aims to make social care more personalised, and giving people choice and control over the support they receive.”

Social care managers are due to meet with social workers to find a group of around five practitioners interested in joining the pilot, due to start in July 2011.

For more information about adult social care in Shropshire call 0345 678 9005.