Community Care reported that the Social Workers Union’s general secretary, John McGowan, said SWE sets a “low bar” for deciding that cases merited further investigation at the triage stage, for example, where “malicious complaints” had been received from individuals who were not happy with social workers’ interventions in their lives.

The criticism comes admits SWE’s Chief Executive acknowledging that its fitness to practise process for social workers is not sustainable.

In December, he said:

“The number of new cases into Fitness to Practise (FtP)continues at a higher level than originally expected and while I am confident that the planned restructure within the FtP teams alongside the addition of resources, will manage caseloads well over an appropriate timescale, it is not sustainable for the longer term.”

He also said that SWE have planned to undertake further analysis on the nature of the complaints coming in to determine how SWE can influence the landscape that is currently producing this level of complaints.