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:
- 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 “What queries about Covid 19 and social work do you have?” referencing the Care Act in your response.
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.