NI Social Care Regulator Welcomes DHSSPS Minister's Plans for the Introduction of Compulsory Registration for Social Care Workers Across Northern Irekand.
James Perry, Acting Chair of the Northern Ireland Social Care Council, today welcomed Social Services Minister, Michael McGimpsey’s statement outlining his plans for the phased introduction of compulsory registration for social care workers across Northern Ireland.
He said: "Social care workers provide vital care and support for over 200,000 people across Northern Ireland every day, helping them to live their lives as independently and safely as possible. Those registered with the NISCC are accountable for standards in their conduct, training and practice. The introduction of compulsory registration for social care workers helps to protect the public from the small number of workers who do not meet the NISCC’s required standards and who are not suitable to work in social care services."
The Minister plans to introduce compulsory registration for social care workers in stages. This will allow registration to be implemented way which is proportionate for the sector in the current economic climate. Social care managers will be one of the first priority groups to register as they have specific responsibility for the standard of care, supervision of staff and provision of services to the public.
Groups in the first stage of roll-out include:
- Social care managers of residential, day care and domiciliary care;
- Residential child care workers (unqualified); and
- Social care workers in adult residential or nursing homes settings.
There are almost 30,000 people working in social care services across NI and about 14,000 of them are already registered with the NISCC. This includes over 5,000 workers social workers for whom registration with the NISCC is already compulsory and 8,000 social care workers who have registered on a voluntary basis. The introduction of compulsory registration for the first priority groups of social care workers will mean that over half (14,000) of all social care workers in NI (27,000) will be registered in this stage.
The Minister indicated that he plans to bring forward compulsory registration for the remaining groups of social care workers as quickly as possible. In confirming his commitment to ensuring that unsuitable people are prevented from working with children or vulnerable adults and to improving the standard of social services, he said: "I believe registration of the workforce plays an important part in achieving this goal and assuring the public of the competence and safety of individual staff to provide a quality service."
The Minister’s statement on compulsory registration for social care workers is available from the DHSSPS (NI) website www.dhsspsni.gov.uk