To everyone in the Practice Learning Community, firstly I hope that everyone is well and taking care of themselves, their family, friends and wider community. These are unprecedented times we are facing and there will be a high level of uncertainty for all.
ScOPT recognises how difficult a decision this will have been for all of those working with social work students and the impact that this will have on students' education, for service users and for those working with and supporting social work students. In light of current and ongoing Government advice on COVID-19, we support the decision taken by SSSC and HEIs to suspend placements in order to mitigate the risk to individuals and organisations. As indicated in the statement, contingency planning continues for social work education, and we will share this with our members as it is published.
ScOPT recognises that this decision will impact on a number of practitioners within our membership, particularly those who are Independent Practice Educators and their ongoing employment in this role. ScOPT intends to write to HEIs and SSSC to highlight the vulnerability of the practice teaching workforce both in relation to current and future employment and payment. We would welcome our members views on this to contribute to our response to these bodies.
Our thoughts are with everyone working within social work and the social care field at this time and commend the excellent work that is being done in the sector working with some of our most vulnerable communities.
Chair of ScOPT