A report examining how we can build a professional social care workforce to meet the expanding challenges of the sector.

Well over one and a half million people are in paid social care work in England. Despite this, relatively few people know what social care workers do and fewer still understand the important contribution they make to society.

Yet social care has long been a pioneer of public service reform. Personalisation, choice, user

empowerment and user involvement were aspirations for social care services many years before the current Government 'discovered' these tenets of public service reform.

It is within this context that ippr held a series of policy seminars in 2004 to examine the impact of recent changes and the challenges in professionalising, training and supplying a social care workforce able to meet current and forthcoming demand and expectations. Drawing on discussions from these seminars and current literature, this report examines how we can build the social care workforce and makes recommendations for achieving this.