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CSE responsibilities added to social workers’ skills test

Consideration of child sexual exploitation (CSE) as a possible form of abuse has been added to the  draft of the skills new children’s social workers will be expected to display to gain approved practitioner status.

In the initial version the statement outlined that social workers should be able to recognise the risk indicators of different forms of harm to children “including sexual, physical and emotional abuse and neglect”, but failed to make explicit reference to CSE. The final version has been amended to set out that social workers should “consider the possibility of child sexual exploitation” as one of a range of adult behaviours that can pose a risk to children.

Isabelle Trowler, chief social worker for children and families, said: “These are challenging times to be a social worker. Much is expected and focus on effectiveness is rightly sharp. There is life-saving, life enhancing social work going on all the time in the most difficult of circumstances. We expect our social workers to be skilled and wise to meet the challenges. 

Annie Hudson, chief executive of the College of Social Work, said: “The statement provides a welcome and valuable articulation of what qualifying social workers undertaking children's social work roles should know and be able to do.
Children's social work is intrinsically demanding and so it is helpful now to have this clarity about the skills and knowledge qualifying social workers undertaking statutory roles should be able to demonstrate”.