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Coming soon - the way to raise a Concern is changing

12 April 2024

We want the public to have trust and confidence in the regulated social work and social care workforce.

The Northern Ireland Social Care Council (the Social Care Council) responds to concerns that a registered member of that workforce may be putting public safety at risk.

One of the ways we do this is by acting when anyone – an employer, a professional organisation, a service user or member of the public – raises a concern about a social worker, social care worker, social care manager or social work student through what we call our ‘Fitness to Practise’ (FtP) process.

A ‘concern’ is an action that could put the safety of service users or the public at risk, or damage the public’s confidence in the workforce. 

Anyone can raise a concern about a registrant (someone who has registered with us and is listed on the Public-Facing Register (the Register) using the Fitness to Practise process. When someone raises a concern using this process we call that a ‘making a referral’.

What is changing?

In the coming months, we’ll be updating our services with the introduction of a new online referral portal (the portal). The new portal is designed to make it easier to raise a fitness to practise concern and anyone will be able to access it through our website.

At the moment all concerns are raised by completing a form from our website which then has to be emailed or posted to our Fitness to Practise team.

Why are we telling you in advance?

We wanted to let you know a head of time about the introduction of the new portal. This will be an exciting new development giving easier access for those who wish to raise a concern to our services. Concerns can be raised by filling in forms online, which once submitted will go directly to the Fitness to Practise team without the added step of emailing or posting the form.

All of the information sent through the new portal will still adhere to the Social Care Council’s legislative requirements for privacy and confidentiality – this will not change,

We are aware this change will mean getting used to using the portal instead of submitting a form by email or post.  To help with the transition to our new service we will, for a limited period, still accept referrals from those wishing to raise a concern in the current format.

What will happen next?

We will keep you updated about this new development and provide further information about how to access the online referral portal closer to the launch date.  

In the meantime, if you need to raise a concern you can still access the forms through our website here.

If you have any questions about this new development, please contact us via our email and we will be happy to help.