Teeswide Safeguarding Adults Board to seek assurance that there is clarity on any social work roles outside of the Local Authority Teams, they require your help to understand the varied Social Worker and support roles across Tees Valley.
Josh – Safeguarding Adult Review (SAR)
Summary of the Case
Josh was a young man in his late twenties who was homeless and had diabetes. He had taken multiple overdoses of his insulin which resulted in a number of admissions to hospital due to self-neglect and misuse of medication. As a result of a significant overdose of insulin, Josh suffered a permanent and life changing brain injury and it was believed that he was likely to have additional care and support needs for the rest of his life. Josh, however unexpectedly passed away later in hospital.
Why do we need your help?
In this particular case, the term ‘Social Worker’ was sometimes used to describe professionals who were not statutory social workers, but who did provide a level of support to Josh. This led to some professionals mis-interpreting the support workers’ responsibilities, thinking that they had statutory powers under the Care Act 2014 to carry out social care assessments (i.e. assessments of need), which caused some confusion and complications.
Also, in this particular case, a Social Worker was employed by one organisation, but based in another and the Social Worker was only recording on one system rather than two, which led to some miscommunication.
What is the difference between a statutory social worker and a non-statutory social worker?
A statutory social worker has a legal duty to abide by legislation and they have the power to enforce the law to protect adults at risk.
A non-statutory social worker could be a staff member or volunteer who supports adults at risk such as drug and alcohol users, homeless people or those with mental health issues but are not legally responsible for enforcing legislation.
What does the SAR Report Recommend?
One of the recommendations was for “TSAB to seek assurance that there is clarity on any social work roles outside of the Local Authority Teams. This must include a declaration of those with social work roles, whether they are statutory or non-statutory, as well as supervision and management responsibility for those roles”.
Who would we like to hear from?
- All Board partners
- Local Authorities, including departments outside of adult social care that may have such roles, for example; housing/homeless teams, drug and alcohol teams etc.
- Teesside University and any students that may be working towards their social work degree and placed within services as part of their studies.
- Voluntary Sector, where support worker roles may be referred to as ‘social workers’
- Mental Health teams
As this is an action from a SAR, responses are needed to provide the Board with assurance that all partners are implementing the recommendations and learning from the case. Please complete the short survey below/forward on to relevant colleagues within our organisation to complete by 30th November.
The information you provide will help the Board to understand the current provision of Social Workers across Tees to ensure that there is a clear definition between statutory and non-statutory.