We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Policy, Professions and Communities Research Group


Publication details for Professor Sarah Banks

Gallagher, Ann, Banks, Sarah, Jago, Robert, Zasada, Magdalena, Austin, Zubin & van der Gaag, Anna (2020). Exploring the Context of Fitness to Practise Concerns About Social Workers in England: Explanations Beyond Individuals. Ethics and Social Welfare 14(2): 187-203.

Author(s) from Durham


Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC) as compared with the other health care professionals regulated by HCPC. This paper discusses findings from interviews and focus groups that formed part of a mixed methods study that aimed to find out the reasons for complaints and the strategies that may reduce complaints. Four themes were identified: social work as an evolving profession; social work involves challenging practice; social work takes place in a pressurised environment; and public perceptions and expectations of social work are often negative and unrealistic. Findings highlight explanations that focus on organisational culture and public responses to social workers’ control functions. We argue that, at a time of change for the profession, there is a need for public education regarding the role and function of social workers and for regulators to have more proactive engagement with registrants and employers.