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26th January 2012

Professionalising social care workforce key to preventing elderly abuse, says CFW

Recognising the importance of social care as a profession and promoting best practice among its workforce is the key to preventing elderly abuse, the senior policy adviser for Care Forum Wales has said.

In a letter to the Western Mail, CFW's Mary Wimbury criticised a report in the paper on January 23 (Abuse of Our Elderly) for giving the impression that all social care workers were liable to abuse the older people they care for.

She said: "Anyone reading your article, Abuse of our elderly, on January 23 might be forgiven for assuming that all paid care workers are charlatans. In reality the vast majority are from reputable agencies and are caring, well-train and undertake a little-respected role diligently and professionally."

She went on to say that Care Forum Wales, which represents 500 independent care organisations across Wales, is continuing to strive for improvements. 

She added: "We'd like to see local authorities contracting [out services] to provide care that focuses on standards and decency - and not care by tick-box.

"We'd like to see them awarding contracts for care not on lowest price, but at a rate that will ensure a sustainable service caring for vulnerable people, where staff are properly rewarded, supported and supervised."

One of the goals of CFW is to get greater recognition for the social care workforce. "To that end we are working with the Welsh Government and other partners to establish a professional body to spread good practice and professionalise the role of the care worker," Ms Wimbury continued.

"When we're facing such challenges to the public purse we really do need to redirect our resources to important front-line services." 

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