Skills for Care

We will providing the most up to date information and support on this page needed for your role. With the added pressure in these very challenging times and we'd like to thank you for all you're doing.

The below information covers the following:

  • Specific information for general guidance, adults, child and family and child and family social workers.
  • Lastest guidance and information (also on the Goverment website)
  • Aditional latest guidance to support the adult social care sector as a whole can be accessed on our homepage.


General guidance

We know that COVID-19 has presented many challenges with regards to supporting and developing NQSWs, Therefore, we've worked with the sector to develop some principles about how to support NQSWs before they start work as a social worker, as they begin their ASYE year and during their ASYE year.

Download the principles

The Minister for Children and Families, Vicky Ford MP, has published a letter applauding all child and family social workers for their inspiring efforts during the outbreak.

Read the letter

An open letter from the Chief Social Workers to all social workers practicing in every setting is available to download.

An open letter is available to download which has been shared with social work students, on behalf of the Chief Social Workers.

A best practice guide has been produced specifically for social workers about getting the most out of video-calling applications.

Download the guide

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, mental health services and their staff are rapidly transforming how they work, in order to provide the best possible care in these unprecedented circumstances. This rapid report aims to describe these transformations, based on interviews with 36 mental health social workers across the country. In particular, this report focuses on the involvement of social workers in adult community mental health services (the professional group with which Think Ahead has the most contact).

Download the report

We are considering how we can support employers to ensure that our newly qualified social workers are able to continue and complete the ASYE. 

The ASYE is intended to provide a year of support and assessment for every newly qualified social worker. As employers are meeting the current challenge of protecting those who need social work services during the Covid-19 crisis we understand that the priority is front-line social work activity. 

Our priority is to ensure that the supply of the workforce remains constant,  so we suggest the following principles in order to ensure that ASYE activity continues as much as possible and that newly qualified social workers are not prevented from progressing in the workforce.

  • The assessment standard for the ASYE remains the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) and relevant Knowledge and Skills Statement (KSS).
  • Employers may review the usual minimum evidence requirements including considering a reduction in the amount of evidence presented.
  • Principal Social Workers can suspend internal moderation activity providing they are confident that assessment outcomes are being recorded effectively.
  • External moderation panels can be suspended in line with our decisions to suspend the national moderation panel.
  • Once the immediate Covid-19 crisis is over, Skills for Care will consult with employers on the best way to re-commence quality assurance and moderation activity, as well as benefitting from learning gained from doing things differently at this time.


Get in touch

We’re receiving questions and using them to update the ASYE FAQs daily. If you have any queries that are not covered in the current FAQs then email:


Free visa extensions will be automatically granted to more crucial overseas health and care workers, the Home Secretary has announced. 

Frontline workers, including midwives, radiographers, social workers and pharmacists, with visas due to expire before 1 October 2020 will receive an automatic one-year extension. It will apply to those working both in the NHS and independent sector and include their family members. 

Find out more

Social Work England has created a webpage whihc is designed to share details of adjustments that education providers have made as a result of COVID-19. The information is intended to highlight the adaptations that individual education providers have made to reflect their own locla requirments in order to meet the education and training standards.


Government thank all social workers for keeping vulnerable children safe and asults cared for, throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. The Department for Education and the Department of Health and Social Care have published a joint letter applauding all social workers for their inspiring efforts during the outbreak. The letter goes on to say:

We wanted to thank the entire sector, including those returning to it, for stepping up to this challenge with such dedication and determination. Over the recent weeks we have been struck by extraordinary examples of social workers responding to these unparalleled circumstances.

The Department for Education and Department of Health and Social Care

The Chief Social Workers for Adults have published guidance for the support and wellbeing of adult social workers and social care professionals in a pandemic crisis. 

Read the guidance

This guidance provides a professional risk framework to prepare for face to face social work in hospitals with adult patients, families or carers during COVID-19. It is not a comprehensive guide to hospital social work. Its aim is limited to planning for and managing risk during COVID-19 – whether with adults who are COVID-19 positive, negative or infection status unknown. It may be transferable to social work with children and young people in hospital. 

Find out more 

This guidance is only valid during the COVID-19 pandemic and applies to those caring for adults who lack the relevant mental capacity to consent to their care and treatment. The guidance applies until withdrawn by the Department. During the pandemic, the principles of the MCA and the safeguards provided by DoLS still apply. 

Read the guidance.  

This guidance sets out how local authorities can use the new Care Act easements, created under the Coronavirus Act 2020, to ensure the best possible care for people in our society during this exceptional period. As you will see from the guidance, principal social workers play a key role in the decision making process. 

Read the guidance

Social Work England has a dedicated webpage offering information and guidance for social workers, employers, education providers and social work students. The page is updated regularly.


Get in touch

For any queries around student placements and the impact of students working from home, email 


This framework, from the DHSC, offers guidance on ethical considerations for local authorities and adult social care professionals planning their response to COVID-19.

It’s aimed at planners and strategic policy makers at local, regional and national level to support planning and organisation of adult social care in response to COVID-19.

Information from Social Work England on the registration of temporary social workers is available on their website
Community Care Inform has made their guide to developing emotional resilience and wellbeing freely available to everyone. It’s a comprehensive guide, based on what research says supports resilience in social workers and is full of information and ideas to use in your practice. 

Download the guide.

The COVID-19 AMHP briefing has been published by BASW. This work has come from the two webinars held last week, and the many questions and issues raised by AMHPs and AMHP leads across the country. It will be updated and reissued as new information is available. 

This is not official guidance, but a summary of the responses to many questions raised by AMHP leads and PSWs and a review of the flexibilities currently available to LAs and NHS Trusts.

This has been produced by BASW, working closely with the AMHP leads Network and Chief Social Workers office.


Get in touch

If you feel anything is missing please email


Social Work England has given further advice about placements for student social workers giving flexibility to HEIs regarding length of placements whilst ensuring that minimum standards can be met to enable students to join the register. 

We’d encourage all employers providing placements for student social workers to work with the relevant HEIs to enable the completion of placements in line with the Social Work England flexibilities. This is to ensure the supply of new social workers entering the workforce is disrupted as little as possible in these challenging times.

Read Social Work England’s advice


Information specific to principal social workers in adults services

The DHSC has developed two new pieces of guidance aimed at adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults.

They have also been working with SCIE on their guidance for adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults, which is updated on a weekly basis. This guidance is specifically for social workers and occupational therapists.

Other useful guidances and resources from a range of people and places are below:

  • Ethical framework checklist
  • Human rights checklist
  • COVID-19 Ethical Framework principles - one pager
  • Top tips for working remotely
  • Top tips for effective online meetings
  • Wellbeing guide for staff

The Chief Social Workers for Adults are writing to provide you with an update on the status of the Care Act easements provision, following the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care’s acceptance of their recommendation to expire the provision.

Download the letter

This framework sets out how Brighton and Hove City Council will implement the provision set out within the new Care Act easements, created under the Coronavirus Act 2020, to ensure the best possible care for people during this exceptional period. 

Read the framework.  

A campaign called Social Work Together has been launched in partnership with Social Work England, DHSC and the Local Government Association to allow social workers to express their interest in employment opportunities in these extraordinary times. 

A website has been launched, which can be accessed at and will connect those offering their expertise to local employers. Under the Coronavirus Act, they were given powers to temporarily add 8,000 former social workers to their register.  

Read a letter from the Chief Social Workers - It includes an update on the COVID-19 Bill and Ethical Framework for Adult Social Care. 



Principal social workers in child and family services

The COVID-19 guidance for children’s social care services has been updated to reflect the new national lockdown that came into force on 5 January. The main changes to the previous guidance have been highlighted on the GOV.UK website.

Read the guidance

The Department for Education (DfE) has published an updated version of the coronavirus (COVID-19) legislation and guidance for children’s social care services (updated 25.09.20)

Find out more

The network has also developed some guidance around video calls/contact and virtual/online home visits which we think you’ll find useful.

Further guides are being developed and many PSWs have already joined the new reference groups. 

The department has made the decision to pause the delivery of all NAAS assessment centres until Spring 2021. 

The NAAS programme is running in background mode whilst the department prioritise the need for ongoing support and guidance to local authorities and trusts, their workforce and the children and families they support during this unprecedented time. 

NAAS endorsements will remain valid during this time, and local authorities and trusts should continue to ensure that all staff receive adequate training and development opportunities, especially new and agency staff brought in at this time. 

For any questions, please email

Social work values have probably never been so important. Empowerment, inclusion, respect and an ability to appreciate lived experiences will be at the heart of our responses. Creativity in being able to continue working with children and families when face to face contact may not always be possible has quickly helped activities to continue using technology and the PSW Digital research will assist in capturing this practice while the PSW best practice guides offer helpful support and guidance for practitioners in frontline services. 

Read the full letter.

A campaign called Social Work Together has been launched in partnership with Social Work England, DHSC and the Local Government Association to allow social workers to express their interest in employment opportunities in these extraordinary times. 

Visit Social work together to connect those offering their expertise to local employers. Under the Coronavirus Act, they were given powers to temporarily add 8,000 former social workers to their register.    



Information for child and family social workers

The Department for Education (DfE) recognises that child and family social workers have been doing a fantastic job, going above and beyond to support children, young people and their families throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and that they are best placed to determine the level and type of support required for those they work with.  The Department is grateful for their continuing efforts in keeping vulnerable children and their families safe at this time.

This toolkit has been produced to help support social workers working within the restrictions of COVID-19. The guidance and resources below are potentially helpful tools to use, alongside LA guidance, when making judgments about risk and support and to help with children and young people’s development and well-being.

Social workers have been instrumental in explaining the benefits of attending school, college and other educational settings to children, young people and their families, and the Department acknowledges their ongoing support in maintaining children with a social worker’s attendance.

As set out in the Schools Coronavirus Operational Guidance , from 8 March all pupils should attend school.

We have asked schools to notify social workers if a child with a social worker is asked to self-isolate so that the social worker and school leaders can agree the best way to maintain contact and offer support to that child or young person.

It is recommended that conversations on attendance between social workers and children, young people and their families focus on:

  1. explaining that regular school attendance is vital for children’s educational progress, wellbeing, and wider development. 
  2. identifying children and young people who are reluctant or anxious about being in school or who are at risk of disengagement. This may include children and young people living in households where someone is clinically vulnerable, or those concerned about the comparatively increased risk from coronavirus (COVID-19), including those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds or who have certain conditions such as obesity and diabetes. 
  3. developing plans for re-engaging them, including by working closely with wider support services. 

Where appropriate, and in line with your local guidance, child in need and child protection plans may be used to identify barriers to attendance and set out actions for addressing them, including outlining the role of schools and wider services.

For looked after children, Virtual School Heads should ensure Personal Education Plans (PEPs) identify and address any barriers to attendance. Virtual School Heads will work together with social workers, Designated Teachers and care givers to address those barriers and support good attendance.

Parents and carers may have questions and concerns about sending their child to school, college, early years or childcare settings. This document is intended to support conversations between social workers and parents/carers around attendance. It covers some of the most common questions that parents/carers may have with the responses based on what’s in existing Government guidance.

Download the common questions 

Relevant guidance for schools and local authorities

  • Mentally healthy schools 
    Quality assured information, advice and resources to help primary schools understand and promote children’s mental health and wellbeing  
  • Children's commissioner website 
    Support, advice and information for children and young people in care, leaving care, living away from home or working with children’s services 
  • MindEd 
    A free educational resource from Health Education England on children and young people's mental health  
  • Rise Above 
    Designed to build resilience and support good mental health in young people aged 10 to 16  
  • Every Mind Matters 
    Includes an online tool and email journey to support everyone to feel more confident in taking action to look after their mental health and wellbeing.