BASW has adapted our priorities and services to meet the needs of our members and wider social work workforce during the coronavirus pandemic.

We are using our influence to support social workers and the communities we serve during the pandemic

Priority areas include PPE, testing, support and guidance, support for vulnerable groups and recognition for social workA full list of priority areas is below.

  • We have captured feedback from 2200 social workers (at 14 July 2020) to hear what the issues are, and continue to collect feedback to highlight to social work leaders what the priorities for social work are and have set out priority areas of focus.
  • 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. 
  • 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.  Updated 24 June 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
  • Working around the UK to raise the issues with policy and government leaders in EnglandScotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  
  • Spoke out in the media on the issues social workers are facing, including BBC broadcast, trade press and regional news.

We are meeting the professional needs of social workers - to support the resilience and confidence of the workforce through Covid-19.

We have

  • We have launched the BASW Professional Support Service - to support BASW members, to help you debrief and reflect upon any current concerns you may have in a reflective space with one of our peer support coaches.

Our BASW teams continue to serve our members, with all services continuing as normal but managed in a slightly different way. 

We have

  • Set up our membership team to be on hand to talk directly to our members with any membership 1-1 queries and support members using the membership online hub
  • We have set up remote meetings for our branches, networks and groups, to connect together and with BASW and to provide pathways for members to feed into new policy such as the Coronavirus Act and new ways of working during the pandemic.
  • Set up weekly forums to support social workers and to offer peer support, such as the new Independents virtual discussion events .

Priority areas that we continue to focus on are:

  1. Hygiene equipment, protective equipment and testing
  2. Consistent guidance on keeping social workers safe in the office
  3. Equipment for home working,
  4. Essential guidance on safety for home visits
  5. Guidance on essential and non-essential work, and the ethics of decision making
  6. Advice on how to meet essential work flexibly, including community support
  7. Clarity about accountability if we cannot meet needs
  8. Social work advocacy about upholding human rights
  9. Resource for additional service provision
  10. Clarity about how additional social workers can enter the workforce
  11. Clarity about what this means for students’ qualification and jobs
  12. Support for independents, locums and agency staff
  13. Support for vulnerable young people, families and adults that may not have adequate access to food supplies,
  14. Accessibility to information and who are isolated, placed out of borough or in semi-independent living. 
  15. Asylum seeking children, young people or adults and people who do not speak or read English


View BASW updates during coronavirus:

August 2020

Summer planning and preparation.  An update from BASW Chair, Gerry Nosowska.  17 August 2020

BASW publishes No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF): Statement and Guidance.  17 August 2020

BASW calls for practical help on channel crossings.  Recent warm weather has seen a significant increase in the number of migrants and asylum seekers crossing the Channel to the UK from France in open boats.  17 August 2020

BASW England response to the Mencap survey highlighting the impact on Carers of lockdown.  13 August 2020

Letter to Ash Denham, Minister for Community Safety, Stage 3 Children (Scotland) Bill. 10 August 2020 

BASW England celebrates ‘end of year’ for students with virtual disco. 03 August 2020

July 2020

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

BASW England supports LGA in a call for adult social care reform.  27 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 submitted evidence to the 'The impact of COVID-19 on education and children’s services' consultation. 24 July 2020

BASW Vodcast with recently re-elected BASW Chair, Gerry Nosowska. 24 July 2020

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

BASW is calling for member involvement in analysis of the social work during Covid survey.  24 July 2020

Social Workers Union comments on recent strike action in Tower Hamlets.  24 July 2020

Pay uplift for social workers still unclear after public sector pay announcement.  BASW continues to advocate for good working conditions for social workers including good pay, and support colleagues in wider social care in their urgent calls for funding for pay and services.  22 July 2020

SWU Blog: Almost 900,000 public sector workers to get pay rise, but not social workers.  Blog by John McGowan, General Secretary of the Social Workers Union (SWU).  22 July 2020

Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) Implementation Delay.  We remain concerned for the welfare of the many vulnerable people in care homes and elsewhere who are not yet protected by the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, or whose reviews have been delayed by lack of resources in local government.  22 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 Vodcast with new co-editors of the British Journal of Social Work (BJSW).  BASW CEO Ruth Allen is joined by Professor Vasilios Loakimidis and Dr. Reima Ana Maglajlic.  17 July 2020

BASW increases support for social workers overseas in fight against Covid.  An update on BASW's International Development Fund (IDF).  17 July 2020

SWU Social work campaign hits the airwaves.  John McGowan, General Secretary of SWU highlights that the SWU campaign has 'called on politicians and social work employers to implement a six-point action plan. And we have had significant new support from politicians. This has included a parliamentary question being tabled by Lord Judd'  17 July 2020

As we start to experience a gradual opening up of lockdown, it is timely to update you on BASW services.  An update from BASW Chair, Gerry Nosowska.  15 July 2020

Social work associations across the world took part in the first ever online general meeting of the International Federation of Social Workers.  BASW Chair Gerry Nosowska gives a round-up of the IFSW Global Meeting 11-13 July 2020

Black Lives Matters — The Social Work response to challenging racial injustice in the UK.  BASW Lets Talk Social Work Podcast 13 July 2020

BASW vodcast: Steve Appleton, Regional Lead for Europe at the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL).  Steve Appleton, Regional Lead for Europe at the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL), joins the latest BASW vodcast in conversation with CEO Ruth Allen.  10 July 2020

BASW Cymru raises concerns with Swansea University regarding the proposed cut in staffing to their Social Work Programme. 09 July 2020

Blog by John McGowan, General Secretary of the Social Workers Union, on the launch of SWU's 6 Point Action Plan.  10 July 2020

SWU: Social Work’s Six-Point Urgent Action Plan.  09 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

BASW Cymru is piloting the Social Workers Working Conditions and Wellbeing Toolkit in the Swansea Council Child and Family Services.  07 July 2020

Refugee rights must be protected.  BASW supports cross-party amendments to maintain the full rights of individuals under Dublin III regulation and within the EU Settlement Scheme.  02 July 2020

COVID 19 and inequality in the workplace.  BASW advice and representation officer Laura Sheridan highlights bad management in social work during COVID-19 leading to discrimination towards pregnant women, disabled, BAME and agency workers. 03 July 2020

PM must prioritise children as much as health and economy.  Plea from over 150 organisations including Social Workers Union. 01 July 2020

June 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

BASW UK 50th anniversary virtual festival – a chance to watch again!  Contributions include reflections on social work during the Covid pandemic.  Plus vlog by CEO Ruth Allen.  22-23 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 calls for NRPF to be suspended during Covid-19.  BASW calls for the No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) condition to be suspended by government, so that all vulnerable individuals are entitled to receive financial support during the Covid-19 pandemic.  16 June 2020

Supporting members who are juggling work and childcare or caring responsibilities.  Recently we have been supporting members who are having difficulty working their full-time hours whilst trying to juggle childcare or caring responsibilities. 15 June 2020

BASW weekly vlog - Global Social Work.  BASW CEO Ruth Allen is joined by David Jones, Chair of BASW International Committee and Godfred Boahen, Policy, Research and Practice Improvement Projects Lead BASW to explore BASW’s longstanding relationship to global social work. 12 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

Update by John McGowan, Social Workers Union (SWU) General Secretary.  Social Workers Union activates campaign to encourage urgent action to address key issues.  10 June 2020

BASW weekly vlog.  Ruth Allen CEO is joined by Narinder Sidhu and Hari Sewell in discussion on the role of social work and BASW in tackling inequality and injustice.  Date published 05 June 2020

COVID 19 Staff Risk Assessment Guide and Flowchart  To assist managers and staff with staff risk assessments.  Published 5 June 2020

SWU Blog: Funding for AAG group secured for another year.  Date published 03 June 2020

May 2020

BASW vlog update.  BASW member and Council member Julia Ross joins Ruth Allen CEO BASW in conversation for our latest update.  Date published 29 May 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

Immigration Bill surcharge - update.  We have joined other organisations to work in partnership on a joint letter to Priti Patel MP and Matthew Hancock MP to ask to ensure that this change is applied in a way that will truly benefit the people who work in health and social care on whom we all rely.  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

SWU blog: Concern for reduction in social work referrals.  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

BASW Chair Gerry Nosowska joins BASW CEO Ruth Allen for our latest vlog update.  Hear from Ruth and Gerry in conversation on all things social work including the importance of wellbeing, reflections on the recovery phases of the pandemic and the ongoing concerns raised by social workers - plus BASW updates and more! Date published 22 May 2020

IFSW Secretary-General, Rory Truell provides an overview of the first 5 months of the Social Work Response to COVID-19.Date published 19 May 2020

The points-based immigration proposals are a concern for the future availability of social workers and our hugely valued, skilled care colleagues.  BASW responds as the Government re-introduces the new Immigration Bill to Parliament. Date published 18 May 2020

Reforms to Unregulated Provision for Children in Care and Care Leavers Survey.  BASW England consults on DfE proposals. Published 15 May 2020

BASW supports international partners in battle against Covid-19.  BASW commits £30,000 to support international social work partners in the fight against Covid 19.  Published 15 May 2020

Mental Health Awareness Week May 18th – 24th: ‘This is for all of us’ Blog by Ruth Allen, CEO BASW.  Published 15 May 2020

BASW Statement: Domestic Abuse and Covid-19.  Published 13 May 2020

‘No public health without social health’.  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. 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).  Published 13 May 2020

SWU Blog: Please join SWU and donate to the SWBT.  General Secretary of the Social Workers Union (SWU) John McGowan urges social workers to do what they can, if they can.  Published 13 May 2020

Lockdown exit plans should put safety, fairness and human rights first.  BASW and SWU respond to the Westminster Government’s announcement to ease some lockdown measures. 11 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.

Vlog update from BASW CEO Ruth Allen.  Week 5 of the BASW weekly video update by Ruth Allen BASW CEO during Covid-19.  Published 7 May 2020

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

Ethical Challenges for Social Workers During COVID-19.   BASW would like to invite you to participate in research conducted by the International Federation of Social Workers and an international social work ethics research group, consisting of academics from a number of countries, including the UK.  Date published 04 May 2020

BASW guidance for Covid-19.  Professional practice guidance during Covid-19 - BASW reviewing and updating guidance.  Published 01 May 2020

John McGowan, General Secretary of the Social Workers Union (SWU) provides an overview of the importance of whistleblowing in the workplace and shares helpful advice and guidance.  Published 01 May 2020

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group: seeking BASW members to join.  Your voice matters and we are keen to hear from individuals who are passionate and have experience in this area. Published 01 May 2020

Vlog update from BASW CEO Ruth Allen.  Week 4 of the BASW weekly video update by Ruth Allen BASW CEO during Covid-19. Published 1 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

April 2020

BASW Statement: Care Homes, Personal Assistants and Covid-19.  BASW urge a joined-up, comprehensive response by the government to address these issues.  Date published 29 April 2020

Professional practice guidance for Safeguarding Adults during Covid-19 Pandemic: Addendum: Safeguarding adults in placements.  Published date 29 April 2020

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

Quick Guide: Self-care for Social Workers during Covid-19.  This quick guide is designed to support social workers with ideas and strategies for self-care.  Published 27 April 2020

Face to Face Visit Checklist During Covid-19.  Published 27 April 2020

Vlog update from BASW CEO Ruth Allen.  Ruth Allen provides a video update of the ongoing work of BASW throughout Covid-19.  Published 24 April 2020

BASW Statement on The Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020.  BASW sets out its key actions in light of the regulations publication.  Published 24 April 2020

BASW and SWU support the call for the remembrance of health and social care workers who have lost their lives during COVID-19.  Every year on April 28th, all around the globe the trade union movement unites to mark International Workers’ Memorial Day. Published 24 April 2020

Open letter calls for austerity policies to be rolled back as part of the response to the coronavirus pandemic. The Austerity Action Group is calling for decade long austerity policies to be rolled back as part of the response to the Covid-19. 24 April 2020

BASW England responds to BBC article on vulnerable children not attending school.  Article included statement from Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield that social workers should be “knocking on doors” Published 22 April 2020

BASW's thank you to social workers and all key workers.  Poster to download and display to thank social workers and all key workers.  Published 22 April 2020

Tell us what is happening in children’s services.  A partnership poll with several children’s charities seeks to gather intelligence from the frontline to take to Government.  Published 22 April 2020

COSW highlights crisis for social work during pandemic.  A report on COSW’s first ever virtual meeting and the issues raised.  Published 21 April 2020

BASW England writes to minister over statutory duties.  Letter co-signed with partner organisations seeks clarity over safeguarding.  Published 21 April 2020

COSW highlights crisis for social work during pandemic.  A report on COSW’s first ever virtual meeting and the issues raised.  Published 21 April 2020

End of Life social work during Covid-19.  Professional practice guidance for End of Life Social Work during Covid-19 Pandemic.  BASW Published 20th April 2020

BASW CEO Ruth Allen provides a video update of the ongoing work of BASW throughout Covid-19.  Published 17 April 2020

Professional practice guidance for hospital social work with adults during Covid-19.  BASW guidance to prepare for face to face social work in hospitals.  Published 17 April 2020.

BASW joins academics and sector leaders call for COVID-19 Wellbeing Taskforce.  Margaret Holloway, Emeritus Professor of Social Work, University of Hull and Editor for the British Journal of Social Work on the call for a Covid 19 wellbeing taskforce.  Date published 15 April 2020

Recognition for Social Work is especially meaningful during the COVID-19 pandemic.  SWU general secretary, John McGowan, blog on the need for more respect for social workers during this pandemic.  Date published 15 April 2020

Changing BASW to support you through the pandemic. The coronavirus crisis has inevitably meant that BASW has had to change how we prioritise our work, deliver our services and represent the profession.  Published 09 April 2020

By being members, we are all making a difference and helping our fellow social workers. I know we will keep supporting and encouraging each other.  Message to BASW members by Gerry Nosowska, BASW chair. Published 09 April 2020

High quality and person-centred advanced care planning (ACP) is a vital means of promoting personal dignity at the end of life.  BASW comments on recent press reports of misuse of ACP and of Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) notices being issued inappropriately. Published 09 April 2020.

Professional practice guidance for Children and Families Social Work during Covid-19 Pandemic.  Published 08 April 2020.

Supporting members with professional advice and guidance during Covid-19. The A&R team is here to offer support during Covid-19 with FAQs.  Published 08 April 2020

Gaps in infection prevention and PPE advice and requirements for social workers - Open letter to the Director General for Global and Public Health, Department of Health and Social Care
Gerry Nosowska BASW Chair and Dr Ruth Allen, BASW CEO have issued an open letter to the Director General for Global and Public Health, Department of Health and Social Care BASW to raise significant gaps in Public Health guidance for social workers during the Covid-19 crisis in relation to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Published 06 April 2020

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).  6 April 2020

Professional practice guidance for home visits during Covid-19 Pandemic.To help social workers and their employers manage the risks of home visits during the Covid-19 risk. Published 03 April 2020

Covid-19 Pandemic – Ethical Guidance for Social Workers.  Responding to the very specific circumstances generated by COVID-19.  Published 01 April 2020

The Coronavirus Act 2020 and Social Work Practice - A Briefing.  Published 01 April 2020

Responding to the Coronavirus Act 2020, sharing social work briefings and government submissions.  We are continuing to explore the impact of these important changes and will ensure we protect and support the needs of social workers and the people that use services

BASW calls on the Prime Minister to provide essential PPE and guidance for social workers and include as priority group for testing. BASW Chair and CEO issue an open letter to Prime Minister to support social workers.  Published 1 April 2020

BASW statement on the loss of a social worker to COVID-19.  Southwark Council reports sad news.  Published 1 April 2020

March 2020

BASW and SCIE launch digital capabilities framework and resources for social workers, employers and educators.  Supporting social workers’ digital capabilities.  Published 27 March 2020

BASW continues to raise the urgent issues with social work leaders and provides an update on action so far.  Updated 27 March 2020

Voices of 1200 social workers through BASW Covid-19 survey set agenda for safety and effective practice during pandemic.  Overview of the findings and the actions BASW is taking.  Published 25 March 2020

Supporting autistic adults and adults with learning disabilities during coronavirus outbreak.  Joint statement by the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) and the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE). Published 25 March 2020

Students need to be given the opportunities and support to make the choices they want to make about placements in these uncertain times..  BASW calls for co-ordinated action. Published 25 March 2020

BASW is continuing to work with partners to raise your key COVID-19 concerns.  Ruth Allen CEO BASW provides an update on our work to raise your issues with key partners.  Published 23 March 2020

The Coronavirus Bill- an update.  BASW has written to ministers to set out pressing issues for consideration in relation to the Bill. Published 23 March 2020

Social workers are key workers / critical workers Published 20 March 2020

The Coronavirus Bill: The Response from BASW.  BASW'’s initials calls are set out. Published 20th March 2020

Update from BASW Council.  Gerry Nosowska BASW chair provides an update.  Published 20th March 2020.

Social workers vital role must be urgently recognised and resourced throughout COVID-19 crisis.  BASW’s latest press release.  Published 19th March 2020.

COVID 19 and support for BASW members (Published 17th March 2020).  BASW is making changes to how we work and mobilising to support members through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Information on BASW events during coronavirus (Published 13th March 2020)

See also updates from across the UK nations:

BASW Cymru



BASW England