Regulating the social care workforce
The current regime in relation to the regulation of the social care workforce in Wales is comprised of provisions in Part 3 of the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) (the 2016 Act) and accompanying rules, regulations and codes of practice made under those provisions.
Social Care Wales (SCW)
Part 3 of the 2016 Act provides for the continuation of the body corporate known as the Care Council for Wales, which has been renamed Social Care Wales (SCW).
SCW’s main objective in carrying out its functions is to protect, promote and maintain the safety and well-being of the public in Wales. SCW is required to exercise its functions with a view to promoting and maintaining:
- high standards in the provision of care and support services;
- high standards of conduct and practice among social care workers;
- high standards in the training of social care workers; and
- public confidence in social care workers.
The constitution of SCW, its powers and duties are set out in Schedule 2 to the 2016 Act.
The definition of social care workers is set out in section 79(1) of the 2016 Act, as being a person who:
- engages in relevant social work (social workers);
- manages a place at or from which a regulated service is provided;
- in the course of his or her employment with a service provider, provides care and support to any person in Wales in connection with a regulated service provided by that provider; or
- under a contract for services, provides care and support to any person in Wales in connection with a regulated service provided by a service provider.
Regulations under section 79(2)(b) of the 2016 Act may provide that persons of other descriptions set out in section 79(3) of that Act are to be treated as social care workers. The Social Care Wales (Extension of Meaning of “Social Care Worker”) Regulations 2016 set out additional persons who, for the purpose of SCW’s functions under sections 68(2) (“SCW’s objectives”), 112 (“Codes of practice”), 114 (“Approval of courses etc.”) and 116 (“Other functions of SCW in respect of education and training”) of the 2016 Act, are to be considered as social care workers.