Future Adult Social Care Workforce Collective Vision

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Adult Social Care leaders came together yesterday, 20th July 2021, to offer a collective vision of what should be in a workforce strategy for the growing sector and have produced a Priorities for a workforce strategy people plan.

The leaders of Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), Care Provider Alliance (CPA), Care and Support Alliance (CSA), Local Government Association (LGA), Skills for Care, Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) and Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) represent people who draw down on care and support services, employers, workers, inspectors and commissioners.

These Social Care leaders believe a strategy for the 1.5 million strong workforce must be driven by a shared vision. As Social Care Future put it ‘we all want to live in the place we call home with the people and things that we love, in communities where we look out for one another, doing the things that matter to us.’

They want to see the principles of the Care Act 2014 embedded in social care: Empowerment of people, Prevention, Proportionality, Protection, Partnership with services offering local solutions to their communities and accountability and transparency.

The vision recognises that the Adult Social Care sector needs effective workforce planning to ensure the sector has a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce, with the right values, that is capable of meeting the varied needs of people living in our communities with high quality care.

Based on the leaders shared understanding of the key workforce challenges, they believe there are clear priorities which must be included in a national workforce strategy/people plan for adult social care:

  1. Staff recognition, value and reward
  2. Investment in training, qualification and support
  3. Career pathways and development
  4. Building and enhancing social justice, equality, diversity and inclusion in the workforce
  5. Effective workforce planning across the whole social care workforce
  6. Expansion of the workforce in roles which are designed in coproduction with people who draw on care and support, and in roles which enable prevention, support the growth of innovative models of support

The leaders agree these priorities have to be a key part of the proposed reform agenda that will need to consider what part social care should play in our society in the coming years, and what role a workforce that is likely to be around 2 million strong by 2035 should play to meet current and future demand.

Kathryn Smith, Chief Executive of the Social Care Institute for Excellence, said:

“Our workforce has been pushed into the headlights by Covid-19. This strategy highlights several challenges, all of which we know existed before the pandemic. And there are opportunities here, for instance the chance for better innovation; and through the changes brought by Integrated Care Systems. So it’s time to grasp the nettle and, as many of us said in our recent letter to Ministers, demand a new deal for the care workforce.”

Skills for Care CEO Oonagh Smyth said:

“We believe that policies to reform adult social care will not be successful unless they address the needs of the workforce who have played such a critical role during the pandemic through a social care people plan and comprehensive workforce planning, underpinned by quality data and an understanding of our workforce now and in the future.”

You can read their 'Priorities for a workforce strategy people plan' here.