COVID-19 updates for social work

Last updated 01.04.2020 at 15:35

In this ever changing and fast-moving situation, we'll do our best to keep you informed by providing the most up to date information and support needed for your role.

We know that many of you are under a lot of pressure in these very challenging times and we'd like to thank you for all you're doing.

The lastest guidance and information is also on the GOV.UK website

The latest guidance to support the adult social care sector as a whole is on the Skills for Care website.

As the situation is moving so fast in these uncertain times, 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 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.

We’re receiving specific questions and using them to update the ASYE FAQs daily. If you have any queries that are not covered in the current FAQs then please contact us via for anything related to adults services, and via for anything related to child and family services. 

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 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

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.  

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

If you have any queries around student placements and the impact of students working from home, please email


This new framework, from the Department of Health and Social Care, 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


Information specific to principal social workers in adults services 

Please click on this link to read a letter from the Chief Social Workers. It includes an update on the COVID-19 Bill and Ethical Framework for Adult Social Care. 


Information specific to principal social workers in child and family services

To be updated very soon