• Safe recruitment, social justice, and ethical practice: should people who have criminal convictions be allowed to train as social workers?

      Cowburn, I. Malcolm; Nelson, P. (2008)
      Decision making in relation to admitting people to train as social workers is, either explicitly or implicitly, an ethical activity. This paper considers ethical and practical issues related to the processing of applicants to social work training in England who have criminal convictions. These issues are explored by focusing on policies that strengthen regulations that exclude ex-offenders from working with children and vulnerable adults. The admissions processes for social work education are analysed in terms of how they contribute to, or counteract, processes of social exclusion. The advice and guidance from the General Social Care Council of England (GSCC) is summarised and analysed. A case study of a social work education partnership grounds the ethical discussion by illustrating the complexities of engaging with combating social exclusion whilst seeking to ensure that the public is protected.