Established in 2001, Skills for Care is the strategic workforce development and planning body for adult social care in England. We work with employers, Government and partners to ensure social care has the right people, skills and support required to deliver the highest quality care and support now and in the future.
Our role is to work across the whole system to understand the key drivers of workforce change using insight, data and evidence. We provide managers and those involved in the delivery of social care with guidance on best practice, tools, resources and intelligence to support workforce recruitment, capabilities, and culture. This combination of strategic and operational activity is the cornerstone of our reach and insight into the sector.
Our vision is of a fair and just society where people can access the advice, care and support they need to live life to the fullest. We know that we can’t deliver this without collaboration – one of our core values. By working with our partners we’re able to bring together a vast array of expertise, support, and influence – which in turn increases the impact and reach of our work. Convening and developing networks is one of our core strengths.
Forming strategic partnerships with shared ambitions and priorities enables us to deliver more to support the sector. We work with partners such as trade organisations, care associations, other charities, Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), Local Government Association (LGA), and other representative organisations across operational and influencing activities. This is essential to ensure limited resources are used impactfully and that we make a positive difference to the adult social care workforce.
Together with key national social care leaders we’ve developed a shared vision of what should be in a national workforce strategy for the growing sector. The vision as quoted from Social Care Future is that "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".
We’ve worked with the LGA and ADASS to identify collaborative priorities for the social care workforce 2020-2025.
Strategic workforce planning
We set up a social care reference group to support HEE's Strategic Framework review which focuses on the professionally registered social care workforce that will contribute to strengthen strategic workforce planning for the sector. This is to ensure good communication and information sharing across social care.
HEE and Skills for Care are also committed to promoting an integrated approach to the health and social care workforce and supporting Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) to join up their local workforce planning and development for health and social care. You can read more about our join offer on Integrated Care Systems - Getting the right workforce development support to ICSs building on learning from existing local initiatives at system and place level.
Local partnerships and networks
Our local area teams across England work directly with adult social care providers, as well as a wide range of other partners within the local health and care systems.
We're in regular contact with leaders involved in delivering social care through our registered manager and deputy manager networks covering 151 local authority areas, our registered manager membership and our nominated individual and CEO networks. We're able to share guidance and information and provide a space for peer-to-peer support.
At a local level care associations and Skills for Care area teams are key resources for adult social care employers and we:
- identify opportunities to work together in accessing and delivering local projects and funding
- develop leadership and networks within local systems to ensure there are strong and representative voices speaking for the sector
- work to influence in health and adjacent sectors to ensure appropriate social care representation around the table.