The College of Social Work (TCSW) has called for social workers to be free to make user-focused decisions in delivering adult social care, particularly in the developing area of personalisation.

This call, made in a series of recommendations, follows an invitation by the care services minister Paul Burstow to TCSW to contribute to his thinking about the forthcoming White Paper on adult social care. The recommendations, which came out of TCSW’s stakeholder summit on the contribution of social work to adult care services earlier this month, also calls for safeguarding the role of social workers in adult protection. The recommendations will feed into the Government’s White Paper on social care, due to be published in the spring, in which it has said social work will form a key part.

The letter, addressed to Burstow and jointly signed by TCSW co-chair Maurice Bates and TCSW transition board member Jo Cleary, states: “There is a desire amongst social workers, service users, directors and managers for the profession to be liberated from the care management strait-jacket so as to be able to be creative and focused on problem-solving in its approach to supporting users and carers. “Safeguarding vulnerable adults is clearly everyone’s business, but ensuring that adult protection systems and processes work effectively and in the best interests of adults themselves is, in the view of TCSW, a function that ought to be carried out by qualified social workers – because of the evidence and knowledge base and the values, skills, and expertise that they have.”

TCSW also calls for closer scrutiny of training arrangements for social workers dealing with mental capacity. “TCSW believes that implementation of the Reform Programme will leave the profession stronger and better able to take on the challenges of the new ways of delivering care for adults.”