Managers operating in the increasing number of specialist teams can be far more effective in supporting colleagues than those in generic departments, Phil Evans, Interim President at the Association of Directors of Social Services Cymru told the BASW Cymru event.
Delivering an upbeat assessment of the reform agenda in Wales, Mr Evans pointed to the advent of specialist teams in recent years to say: “Managers have a role to play in creating the right context. One of the benefits I've seen, in terms of more specialist teams, is that managers can manage workloads in a way that they couldn’t before. There were periods where managers got overwhelmed by the task.”
Suggesting that ADSS Cymru wanted to support moves “towards a new professionalism, an assertive professionalism”, Mr Evans still remained positive about the quality of current social work practice, claiming “casework is usually very good and sometimes exemplary”.
The event in Cardiff was chaired by Keith Drury, the outgoing Chair of BASW Cymru, and featured a host of guest speakers, including Welsh Assembly Member Mark Isherwood. A BASW Cymru Patron, Mr Isherwood spoke about his proposed bill on direct payments
which, if passed into law, would make recipients of social care funding have to opt out of the Direct Payment model instead of the current situation where they have to opt in.
Speakers from the All Wales Academic Social Care Research Collaboration (ASCC) outlined plans to improve the quantity and quality of social care research and development in Wales. Nick Andrews, Swansea University, Dr Martin O'Neill, Cardiff University and Diane Seddon, Bangor University, said ASCC would work closely with social care policy makers and practice organisations to establish the most effective approaches to better research.
Diverse Cymru’s Neeta Baicher described her organisation’s work in challenging discrimination, sharing case studies to demonstrate effective practice with users of services of varying nationalities and cultural backgrounds.