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Social care learning and development committee to cease operations

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A national organisation that supports the learning and development of social care workers will cease operations after 31 years.

Learn to Care, which represents those who are responsible for adults’ and children’s social care, social work learning and workforce development in all councils in England, held its last annual general meeting (AGM) in November and will wind up at the end of March. 

Established in 1988, its role was to support activity in local authorities who are required to work with domiciliary care services and care homes to improve the quality of their services.

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At the AGM, Tracey Cooper, chair of the national committee, which is made up of volunteer members in workforce development lead roles, cited staff reductions due to budget cuts and stronger levels of support for social care workers as the reasons for the closure.

“After what has been a long, influential, effective and vibrant time for Learn to Care, it is with great sadness that we are now holding our final AGM but I feel that the time is right for this,” she said.

“The Learn to Care committee has seen a number of changes over the years. Some of us have changed roles or taken on much wider roles across whole organisations, some have retired. Others have had restrictions placed on their travel and are unable to attend meetings. This too is reflected with Learn to Care members,” Ms Cooper continued.

“As is inevitable, times and organisations change. Support available for social care staff, at national and local levels is much stronger now, and it feels like it is the right time for Learn to Care to wind up.

Kim Holmes, vice chair of the committee and principle social worker at Wiltshire council told Home Care Insight that the impact of the government austerity policy means that there have been reductions in the number of workforce development specialist staff in local authorities.

“In many areas learning and development has been centralised, usually into a corporate HR function which means fewer learning and development leads are from a social care background,” she added.

Sarah Clarke

The author Sarah Clarke

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