Social Work in England – Fitness to Practise in 2020

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Social Work in England – Fitness to Practise in 2020
By: Anonymous | Published On: 24/01/21 12:16 pm

Social Work in England: First Reflections” report shares reflections on SWE’s first year as specialist regulator for social workers, including an overview of its fitness to practise activity.

SWE Fitness to Practise: A year in review

Social Work England (SWE) officially took over responsibility for regulating social work in England on 2 December 2019 from the previous regulator, the Health and Care Professions Council.

SWE inherited 1,545 live investigations. Over our first year, it recorded a further 1,9826 concerns.

Insights: Source of fitness to practise referrals

Most concerns to SWE are raised by members of the public, followed by employers.

Social Work in England – Fitness to Practise in 2020

Insights: Fitness to practise concerns by type

Concerns raised to SWE have included themes of poor or inappropriate communication (25.7%), dishonesty (23.2%) or safeguarding concerns (16.2%).

Social Work in England – Fitness to Practise in 2020

Investigating concerns during COVID-19

During the peak of the pandemic, SWE took the decision to deprioritise progressing lines of enquiry with employers and social workers in relation to lower risk cases.

However, parties not engaged with frontline COVID-19 response and higher risk cases continued to be investigated and progressed through Social Work England’s fitness to practise process.

Dishonesty in fitness to practise cases

From Social Work England’s fitness to practise data, dishonesty accounted for 23% of all concerns it received.  Unfortunately, the report did not provide any further insight as to the proportion of these cases that progressed beyond the triage stage.

Given the high prevalence of complaints of dishonesty in social work, social workers might be interested to read our recent article, “Dishonesty in fitness to practise cases”to understand the issues surrounding dishonesty in fitness to practise and how this might impact on their fitness to practise.

Social Work England Fitness to Practise Barrister

I am a vastly experienced and successful healthcare defence barrister with a proven track record for successful outcomes for clients.  If you have been notified by the SWE that you’re under investigation or are facing difficulties with your registration, contact me today for an initial free and no obligation consultation on 0207 060 1983 or


Disclaimer: This article is for guidance purposes only. Kings View Chambers accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever for any action taken, or not taken, in relation to this article. You should seek the appropriate legal advice having regard to your own particular circumstances.