Social Services in Scotland – A Shared Vision and Strategy 2015-2020’ which was launched in March 2015 states:

“Retaining experienced staff in front line practice is crucial to delivering excellent social services.  Continuous professional development and career pathways need to be in place across the workforce so that people are equipped for their current jobs and future careers.”

There is a growing recognition that the views, opinions and ideas of frontline support workers are essential in shaping and informing a variety of national social care policies and initiatives. 

Indeed, there is a real need to tap into their expert knowledge and experience about the people they support and how they, as workers, can be enabled to be the best they can be.  This is consistent with the recently published ‘Social Services in Scotland: A Shared Vision and Strategy 2015-2020’. 

The Scottish Care Front Line Support Worker Strategy Form has been established with membership stretching across the independent and voluntary sectors.   We now have over 80 front line support workers engaged in the strategy forum.  They have the opportunity to join local and national strategic groups and events and have their voices heard by policy makers throughout the country. 

Significant progress has been made over the past 12 months to develop activities and involvement within this Group.  This includes:

  • Involvement of support workers in the SSSC Review of Registration and Codes of Practice Consultation
  • Active participation of support workers in the current Scottish Government Frontline Practitioner Forums
  • Exploring the use of social media as an effective forum for learning and communication throughout this workforce – with a dedicated SWRG ‘Yammer’ page created
  • Support workers invited to the launch of the Social Services Strategy in March 2015, and on-going involvement with national and local events, including Scottish Care Conferences
  • Collaborative working established with SSSC, CCPS and Scottish Government
  • Participation of 40 front line workers in a significant piece of research entitled ‘Voices from the Front Line’ launched in February 2016. 

Members of the Scottish Care Front Line Support Worker Strategy Forum

Aileen Campbell MSP speaking at the launch of ‘Voices from the Front Line’ February 2016

There are many involvement opportunities coming up this year.  So, if you are interested in:

  • Developing your workforce – tapping into their expert knowledge and experience
  • Engaging more effectively with your frontline workforce and empowering them to develop their leadership skills
  • Enabling your frontline support workers to participate in local and national discussions – and make a real contribution to strategic developments in social services
  • Improving the skills and knowledge of your frontline workforce
  • Adopting an entrepreneurial approach to frontline engagement 

Please contact Katharine Ross for more information.