Adult social care leaders have come together for the first time to offer a collective vision of what should be in a care workforce strategy for the growing sector.
The leaders of Local Government Association (LGA), Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), Care Provider Alliance (CPA), Care and Support Alliance (CSA), 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.
They argue a strategy for the 1.5 million strong care 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.’
To build and develop a workforce which makes this vision a reality the leaders say there are clear priorities which must be included in a national workforce strategy for adult social care:
- Staff recognition, value and reward
- Investment in training, qualification and support
- Career pathways and development
- Building and enhancing social justice, equality, diversity and inclusion in the workforce
- Effective workforce planning across the whole social care workforce
- 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
These priorities have been developed based on leaders' in adult social care shared understanding of the key workforce challenges which they say must be addressed as a matter of urgency. They will continue to talk with people who draw on social care and work with the sector to further understand the role we will all need to play to make our ambitions for change a reality.
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 two million strong by 2035 should play to meet current and future demand.
Cllr David Fothergill, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
Any long-term solution for adult social care needs to include a comprehensive plan on building a care workforce fit for the future. It is vital that we are able to match the skills and ambitions of our future workforce with the aspirations of people who have cause to draw on care and support. Urgent action is also needed to address the current recruitment and retention crisis in social care, including on pay, conditions, professionalisation, skills and training.