We are campaigning to reverse the current trend which sees children and families social workers spending just 20 per cent of their time in direct contact with families. Our survey has revealed that BASW England members feel more of their time should be spent building relationships with families and with less of their time on administrative and process driven activities.

A survey of BASW England’s members revealed that social workers are frustrated that they are spending too much time on administration tasks, instead of direct relationship-based work with children and families.

Therapeutic, reflective, relationship-based practice is the best way for social workers to bring effective and positive change to vulnerable children and families.

We are redefining what good social work looks like and the 80-20 Campaign is our opportunity to create effective change by putting relationships in practice at the heart of what we do.

Get involved

We are now open to expressions of interest from providers of Social Work including local authorities, organisations and individuals who are happy to share models of best practice that increases the direct time Social Workers spend with children and families. We would also like to hear from individuals and organisations who want to improve the service they deliver to those on the receiving end of services.

Please email BASW England for more information.

Work done in the campaign so far

  • A survey of BASW England members was carried out in 2018. See the full report via Resources.
  • We have met and consulted with stakeholders including local authorities to identify and champion best models of practice.
  • A stakeholder group has been set up
    • Find the recent information and notes from the stakeholder meeting via Resources.
  • Our Children and Families Practice, Policy and Education Group has hosted the Communicating and Engaging with Children Webinar giving examples of good models of practice in action.


  • BASW England 80-20 Conference in Partnership with the University of Sussex’s Talking and Listening to Children KITBAG Campaign
The 80-20 Campaign Conference
The University of Sussex’s Talking and Listening to Children KITBAG
Speaker Tom Stibbs at 80-20 Conference Trailer

80-20 in the press

See more on BASW England 80-20 Campaign's latest news and resources

Useful resources


If you have any queries about the campaign please email BASW England. For queries about the KITBAG campaign please email Gillian Ruch (Professor of Social Work, University of Sussex).