Our strategy

Explore our plans for 2021 - 2025

A message from our CEO

This strategy sets out Skills for Care’s direction over the next three years. The strategy will inform our work, and ultimately help support adult social care to meet the needs of our families and communities now and in the future. We will be keeping it up to date during the lifecycle of the strategy to reflect feedback and changes in the landscape.

In the video, Skills for Care CEO Oonagh Smyth reflects on the way social care is delivered in England is changing, drawing on the work of Social Care Future :

Don’t we all want to live in the place we call home with the people and things that we love, in communities where we look out for one another, doing the things that matter to us?’

About Skills for Care

Skills for Care is the strategic workforce development and planning body for adult social care in England.

We work with employers, Government, and partners to ensure social care has the right people, skills, and support required to deliver the highest quality care and support, now and in the future.

Our role is to respond and adapt to the emerging trends and needs within social care, using data and evidence to drive forward widescale change. We provide best practice, tools, resources, and intelligence to support workforce recruitment, capabilities, and culture.

All of our work is collaborative. By working with our partners, we are able to bring together a vast array of expertise, support, and influence – which in turn increases the impact and reach of our work.

Our strategy

Our vision

Our vision is of a fair and just society, where people can access the advice, care and support they need to live life to the fullest.

Our mission

To support and empower current and future social care leaders, employers and the wider workforce.

Strategic priorities

In pursuit of our mission and vision, over the next three years, we will pursue four strategic priorities that will help shape the make-up of the adult social care workforce, drive forward reform and ensure that social care is seen as a valued and worthwhile career. Our approach will evolve over the three years to reflect feedback and the changing landscape.

Supporting workforce capabilities

to ensure staff have the right skills, knowledge, competencies, values and behaviours to meet current and future needs in our communities.

Supporting culture and diversity

to ensure the workforce is treated equally, feels included and valued, and is supported to stay well and pursue their careers in social care.

Increasing workforce capacity

to make sure we have the right number of people, with the right values and behaviours, working in social care now and in the future.

Improving the social care system

to ensure it is well funded, supports people to live the lives that they choose and attracts the right people to the workforce.


We will be guided by our core values throughout the implementation of the strategy to achieve I.M.P.A.C.T.


We work together to create Inclusive positive cultures where people are supported to feel safe, valued and respected.


We are Motivated to make a difference for people who work in and draw on adult social care.


We are Passionate and proud to be part of a sector that makes such a valuable contribution to society.


We are Ambitious, for adult social care because we know what a difference it makes to people’s lives and our communities.


We are Collaborative, recognising our strengths and those of others, working together to achieve positive change


We are Trustworthy, honest in how we work and transparent in what we want to achieve.

Achieving our mission

Our work will:

Increasing workforce capacity

We are all living for longer, but that does have implications which we need to be aware of and plan for. We know that more people need support, and the people who need support often have more complex needs than they might have done in previous decades.  

The social care workforce must reflect this reality – ensuring there are the right number of staff, who are equipped with the right skills and have access to the latest technology, to meet the needs of the people they support now, and in the future.   

This means not only increasing the numbers of people in the workforce in both regulated and non-regulated roles, but making sure the right people, with the right behaviours and values, are attracted to a career in social care.  

To do this, we will:  

Building workforce capability

For too long, a career in social care has been seen as low-value and low-skilled. This is not the case. People working in adult social care have a vital role in society, and deserve to be recognised as highly qualified professionals, who are respected for the work they do.  

We will work with all types of social care employers to change perceptions and ensure that the workforce, at every level, has the right skills, competencies, and behaviours to meet the needs of the people they support now and in the future.  

To do this we will:  

Supporting culture and diversity

The strength of social care is in celebrating, valuing, and recognising what makes people unique and supporting them to overcome challenges. To do this, it is vital that the adult social care workforce reflects the society we live in, and that people feel included and treated equally. Skills for Care is committed to using our data and insight to focus attention on areas and issues where there is more work to do, to ensure that diversity is valued and that organisational cultures are positive.   

To do this we will:  

Improving social care systems

One of our core roles is to look to the future needs of the adult social care sector and drive forward positive change. This means supporting the whole sector to innovate, making the best use of data, and evidence, and working collaboratively with our partners to build a social care workforce that is fit for the future.   

To do this we will:  

Get involved

We’d really appreciate your feedback and reflections on our strategy. 

The survey should take less than 20 minutes to complete, your responses will be considered by our team and will inform our next stage of strategy delivery. It closes at 5pm on Tuesday 14 September 2021.

With thanks

Our new strategy was informed by a number of stakeholders and collaborators who generously shared their time and insight. The collaboration of our partners and audience groups is key to achieving impact and driving forward real change.  

We look forward to working with you to deliver our strategy and work towards a social care system where people can access the advice, care and support they need to live life to the fullest.