Capabilities Statement for Social Workers Working with Adults with LD
Published by BASW and the Department of Health.
This Capabilities Statement for Social Workers Working with Adults with Learning Disability (the Capabilities Statement) has been commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) for England and developed by the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) with input from Research in Practice for Adults (RiPfA). It is landmark guidance filling a long standing gap inthis vital field of social work. There are over 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK and the number is growing. Social workers support people with lived experience of learning disabilities in all fields of practice –in children and families and adults social care services, in hospital and community contexts as well as in specialist learning disability services. Generic social work capabilities are the essential foundation to good practice and good experience for citizens. Deeper knowledge and more specialised approaches are also needed, particularly in tackling the inequalities and poor services that people with learning disabilities often experience. Social work values, ethics and skills are key to ensuring personalised care and support, human rights-based practice and robust advocacy are available for people with lived experience oflearning disabilities. Inadequate and sometimes abusive institutional services are still being experienced by people with learning disability. Confident and effective social work is essential within multidisciplinary services and commissioning to accelerate improvements in the quality of care and support. Social workers need the capabilities to ensure community-based support isplanned and provided, maximising people’s potential for independence and self-determination, living the lives they want. This Capabilities Statement supports this vital social work contribution.This Capabilities Statementis accompanied by a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) pathway and supporting resources (on the BASW and DHSC websites). These provide a practical framework to promote improvement of practice and positive impact of social work in this field.