Further BASW England updates are available on the main BASW UK coronavirus updates pages.
BASW England have continued to work with members across key areas of work and are a key part of the core BASW UK activities to influence change during the pandemic:
BASW England latest updates
BASW is writing to a wide range of adult social care charities, providers and other organisations across the UK, to express pledges of support for the sector. Full details are here. 31 July 2020
BASW England has responded to the PAC report into initial Covid-19 response for social care The Public Accounts Committee reveals the Government did not protect adult social care in the same way as the NHS. 31 July 2020
Gender equity and intersectionality - BASW England blog. Blog which explores promoting the rights of all women in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, by Rebekah Pierre, Professional Officer for BASW England. 27 July 2020
BASW England continues to call for feedback on the Care Act during Covid 19.
Concerns raised on government consultation - Changes to the adoption and children regulations: coronavirus (COVID-19). BASW England comments on open government consultation on whether emergency COVID-linked powers introduced under Statutory Instrument 445 should lapse or be continued after September. 24 July 2020
Assessing Risk of Harm to Children and Parents in Private Law Children Cases. The Ministry of Justice released their final report on Assessing Risk of Harm to Children and Parents in Private Law Children Cases in June 2020. Maris Stratulis, National Director BASW England and Allison Hulmes, National Director BASW Cymru set out a joint response detailing concerns. 24 July 2020
New service launched: BASW Professional Support Service - here to support you. Hear from BASW CEO Ruth Allen on our new service for members. 20 July 2020
BASW's initial comment on the Summer Economic Statement. BASW sets out initial views on Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s summer economic statement. 08 July 2020
- #StarsInMemory – Connected by Care – United by Loss. BASW supports national campaign to remember those lost to Covid 19. 26 June 2020
- Upholding Human Rights during Covid-19. An overarching statement from BASW. Updated 24 June 2020
- New Social Worker Wellbeing and Working Conditions: Good Practice Toolkit. The toolkit has been developed by BASW with Bath Spa University and SWU and is aimed at accelerating action across all parts of the workplace. 23 June 2020
- Top tips for virtual direct work with children & families during COVID-19. Rebekah Pierre, BASW England Professional Officer shares virtual top tips on how best to engage and capture children’s voices, even at a distance. 22 June 2020
- Watch again: Access new resources for social workers supporting autistic adults and adults with learning disabilities - including duringCovid 19 18 June 2020
- BASW England launch latest resources to improve social worker support for autistic adults and adults with learning disability - including during the COVID-19 pandemic. 18 June 2020
- ADASS report exposes a seriously underfunded care system. Maris Stratulis National Director for BASW England comments on the ADASS Budget survey. 18 June 2020
- BASW comments on announcement that probation services to return to public control. BASW welcomes the announcement from the Westminster government today that the part-privatised probation service in England and Wales would be fully ‘renationalised’ after research and experience on the ground showed spectacular failures. 12 June 2020
- Out of the Shadows – the role of social workers in disasters. BASW England is developing a book which will focus on the poignant and important personal stories of people with lived experience and social workers involved in disaster and emergency responses past and present including the COVID 19 pandemic for book development. 12 June 2020
- More support needed for people with learning disabilities and autistic people. BASW statement following figures published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). 10 June 2020
- BASW Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Group position statement. BASW will continue to campaign against racialised political discrimination, which has been magnified under Covid-19 and ‘hostile environment’ policies. Published 8 June 2020
- BASW statement following Public Health England report ‘Disparities in the risk and outcomes of Covid-19’. More must be done to address the disproportionate number of deaths of people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities due to Covid-19. 10 June 2020
- BASW Statement on the latest evidence of Covid-19 in care homes. Date published 29 May 2020
- Social workers could be overwhelmed when children return to school. Date published 29 May 2020
- The role of social workers in a pandemic and its aftermath: learning from Covid-19. BASW professional social work practice guidance. Date published 28 May 2020
- BASW Statement: Government Abandons Health Surcharge. Date published 22 May 2020
- We have now received responses to letters sent to both Clara Swinson (Director General for Public and Global Health and DHSC) and Yvonne Doyle (Medical Director for Public Health England). ‘No public health without social health’. Sets our our response that social work’s role in public health is not well recognised and does not seem to be an embedded part of national public health thinking or strategy. Published 13 May 2020
- Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director and Director for Health Protection responds to BASW England letter that highlighted the ongoing concerns being raised by social workers, including shortage of PPE and asks for a clearer understanding of people's vulnerability to Covid-19 including why BAME health and care workers are disproportionately affected. Read the Director and Director for Health Protection response here. 11 May 2020
- BASW England will continue to call for answers and monitor the ongoing impact of Covid-19 on social worker and the communities we work within.
- Open letter to Public Health England on the ongoing concerns for social work and wider health and care workforce during Covid-19. Published 7 May 2020
- BASW England urges government to withdraw statutory instrument which ‘risks the welfare and rights of children’ The welfare and safeguarding of children is undermined by The Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020. Published 01 May 2020
- The Committee discussed the instrument and the BASW’s contribution on Tuesday 5 May and published our evidence on their website at https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/255/secondary-legislation-scrutiny-committee, so that it is available to all Members. The Committee’s report, which raises concerns about these Regulations, was published this morning and can also be found on the UK Parliament website.
- Upholding Human Rights during Covid-19. The pandemic is exposing great inequality in impact and in human rights protection across the UK. BASW sets out urgent concerns and demands on upholding Human Rights during Covid-19. Published 27 April 2020
- BASW England responds to BBC article on vulnerable children not attending schools. Article included statement from Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield that social workers should be “knocking on doors”. Published 22 April 2020
- BASW England writes to minister over statutory duties. Letter co-signed with partner organisations seeks clarity over safeguarding. Published 21 April 2020
- Continue to work with leaders from Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), Department for Education (DfE) and Social Work England to raise the issues and challenges that social workers are experiencing
- With BASW UK shared an open letter to the Prime Minister calling for PPE, priority testing for social workers, supporting social workers back into the workforce, supporting vulnerable groups and whilst it is good news that social workers are recognised as key workers – we want more acknowledgment of the important work social workers do and Issued an open letter to the Director General for Global and Public Health, Department of Health and Social Care to raise significant gaps in Public Health guidance for social workers during the Covid-19 crisis in relation to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
BASW England groups issue Covid-19 Position Statements. Published 24 April 2020:
- Mental Health group position statement on the impact of COVID-19
- Adults social work group position statement on the impact of COVID-19
- Children and families group position statement on the impact of COVID-19
- Professional Capabilities & Development group position statement on the impact of COVID-19
- Student & NQSW group position statement on the impact of COVID-19 on student studies, placements and work experiences
- Criminal Justice group position statement on the impact of COVID-19
We want to hear about your experience of applying the Care Act during Covid-19.
You can do this by going to the BASW Covid-19 survey and completing the question which asks for feedback on the Care Act.
The team are also very much involved in engaging with members direct:
- Hosted a range of teleconferences and webinars on the impact of Covid 19 for Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMHP's)
- Supported BASW England branches to meet remotely and connected them along with students and NQSW's to influence BASW priorities.
- Developing a position statements from relevant subgroups on: mental health; adults; Students & NQSW’s and Children & Families
- Had a range media appearances and coverage (BBC, Guardian, social media etc)
- Held online for forums for social workers to network and influence BASW’s priorities
- Supported the development of key BASW during Covid 19 resources
Take care of the frontline workers so they can support and care of others. Blog by Maris Stratulis, National Director, BASW England. Date published 06 April 2020
The BASW England Practice Educator Professional Standards (PEPS) subgroup have created Covid-19 guidances for PEPS.
Interested in returning to social work practice?
Social Work England in partnership with the Department for Education and the Department of Health and Social Care, the Local Government Association have launched Social Work Together, an online tool to connect social workers returning to practice with employers across England in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Care Act easements: guidance for local authorities
New guidance from the DHSC (Department of Health and Social care) published 31.3.2020, sets out how Local Authorities can use the new Care Act easements, created under the Coronavirus Act 2020 to help prioritise care and support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The Coronavirus Act will have substantial impact on those requiring social care and for those arranging it. This guidance provides welcome clarity on some of the implications. More work is needed on setting out how it applies to social work and BASW England will be producing more information shortly.
The BASW England Adults PPEG is currently reviewing the Care Act easements guidance for Local Authorities to develop a position statement with reference to the following areas:
- Guidance on prioritisation
- The duty to apply the European Convention on Human Rights and the use of professional judgement
- Decision making in the remit of the DHSC Ethical Framework
- Recording of decision making
- The role of leadership
- Identifying areas that require further guidance
We will continue to lobby and work collaboratively with stakeholders and to answer your queries and concerns in relation to this guidance.
To get in touch and provide your views in relation to the changes proposed though this guidance complete our short survey and include the reference “Care Act easements guidance”
View The Coronavirus Act 2020 and Social Work Practice - A Briefing. Published 01 April 2020
Recent updates from BASW England (27 March 2020)
This week we met with social work leaders from Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), Department for Education (DfE) and Social Work England to raise the issues and challenges that social workers are experiencing based on the feedback of over 1300 social workers who took part in the BASW survey of social work during the pandemic, including:
- Safety and lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as hand sanitisers which is leaving social workers concerned for clients safety and their own safety
- The need for guidance that would bring about consistency in the workplace
- Clarity on how social workers can deliver on their statutory duties to support vulnerable people during the pandemic
- Guidance for students who are on placements to give reassurance on protecting career pathways into social work
- We asked that Ministers where possible directly reference social work and social worker in their public addresses alongside colleagues in health and social care
We know there is clear commitment from social work leaders to support the workforce and work is underway to tackle the issues. We are pleased share that progress has been made across the following areas:
- Guidance relevant to social work will continue to be produced, including recent work developed in partnership with BASW: AMHP guidance and information.
- Social Work England have updated their COVID19 information and advice for education provider and social work students on placements and volunteering.
- Dedicated updates for social work specifically for adults services on the Skills for Care website.
- Emergency powers to bring back social workers now confirmed live - details are on the Social Work England website. More to follow on how BASW can support this.
- BASW England briefing paper on Coronavirus Bill (25 March 2020)
This briefing paper is a compilation of responses from BASW members and stakeholders including those who work with children and families; adults; people with mental health issues and students and newly qualified social workers (NQSW’s). This briefing outlines their views and concerns on the Covid-19 outbreak and the implications of the Coronavirus Bill.
- Supporting autistic adults and adults with learning disabilities during coronavirus outbreak (25 March 2020)
Joint statement by the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) and the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE)
"We are living in unprecedented time. Autistic adults and people with learning disabilities are likely to find the coronavirus outbreak, the restrictions placed on daily living, and the changes to how their support is delivered, particularly confusing, worrying and in some situations distressing."
- Students need to be given the opportunities and support to make the choices they want to make about placements in these uncertain times (25 March 2020)
BASW has received over 1,200 responses to our COVID - 19 survey and a number of student responses have highlighted concerns about not wanting to remain in their placements but feeling pressured to do so and that if they don’t they fear it will jeopardise their graduation and career prospects .
- The Department for Education is already in extensive discussion with sector leaders including BASW England as set out by Isabelle Trowler, Chief Social Worker for England (Children and Families) 20 March 2020.
Further BASW England Government advice and other information is available on the main BASW UK coronavirus updates pages.