Diana Harris - Election statement
Since joining BASW in 2015 and the Coventry & Warwickshire Branch in June 2019 BASW has become very much a part of my professional identity and I believe membership unites us providing a strong voice to challenge discrimination and inequality and direct change.
I have participated in the Immigration, Asylum & Trafficking group presenting a motion in 2019 to challenge and campaign to remove the government’s ‘hostile environment’ policy. The Coventry & Warwickshire Branch submitted a motion in 2020 to continue the campaign and highlighted the heightening tensions around the oppression and inequalities that people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups continue to face.
In 2021 I participated in BASW’s Independent Review of Children’s Social Care Group representing Branch members views and joined Branches to collectively call on BASW to take a lead role in promoting awareness.
From 2020 to 2022 I worked with the Branch embracing new technologies to continue meetings and support throughout the pandemic, raising the difficulties and challenges workers faced over health and safety.
I have worked as an Independent social worker since 2016, most recently as a Training Facilitator but have mainly focused on the impact of immigration law and policy and the impact of no recourse to public funds on children and families. I historically worked in fostering services.
As BASW Chair I will be able to utilise the networks which I’ve developed to promote members views from students, educators, front line workers, agency, charity workers and independents to:
- Be a social work ambassador for all members;
- Challenge and hold accountability;
- Promote the voices of people with lived experience and enable engagement;
- Promote equality, diversity, inclusion, uphold human rights and seek social justice;
- Seek sustainability for our living world;
And campaign for:
- Better working conditions.
- Human rights.
Julia Ross - Election statement
“Social workers do a job which is spiritually, ethically, and physically daunting, a job which is a permanent test of character and intelligence, a job which requires rare determination and commitment.” According to Jonathan Dimbleby in his Thames Witness Series.
In 2004, when I was Director of Social Services in Barking and Dagenham, I had this printed for all our social workers. I go back to it often. I also believe social work makes a significant contribution to whole systems working across health, social care, education and housing, always with shared accountability to people using our services. I welcome our growing understanding and expertise in working alongside people with learned and expert experience of social work and I will always advocate for this. As a nurse first, I retrained in social work, and became a BASW member when Community Care was introduced with the Seebohm Report in 1972. I have loved every minute, even the tough parts, and want everyone to have that same experience.
As Chair of BASW, I promise to work tirelessly for justice within our society and diverse communities, building on the excellent work achieved already. I will continuously promote social work as a profession, together with people who have experience of social work and their families. Drawing on my experience across Scotland and England, I will ensure that social work is better understood, both so that people get a better experience and so that our membership will flourish.
I will champion Digital Transformation, believing passionately in the power of digital to transform lives and would like to see better use of data, so that we have the strongest possible analytical base for social work.
I promise strong, integrated, outward looking leadership, which takes place at all levels in BASW and engages confidently with other professions.