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Influencing Policy for Better Social Work

Part of BASW's Professional Development & Education Taught Skills Development Programme

Course Outline:

Social work is an inherently political profession. Social workers are mandated by the Government, regulated by it, answer to it and work within the context of Government policy. Social workers are experts in their areas of legislation and in their areas of practice, but their voices are missing from many of the key policy debates that will affect them and those they work with.

Influencing Policy for Better Social Work will provide attendees with all of the background information, skills and knowledge they need to start getting involved in influencing Government policy. Participants will have the chance to develop their own campaign plan on a social work issue of their choice and will be provided with the support to continue that campaign outside the session if they want.

Trainer – Madeleine Jennings

Madeleine Jennings is BASW’s Public & Political Affairs Officer. Prior to joining BASW over three years ago, Madeleine worked in the UK Parliament for a former cabinet minister and a number of prominent campaigners.

Her current role is to plan and coordinate political engagement on behalf of BASW’s members, build relationships with key policymakers and influence the development of legislation on behalf of the social work profession.

Madeleine has a Masters degree in Public Policy, a wide range of campaigning experience and is an expert in the legislative process.


9.30 Arrival & Coffee

10.00 Social Work is a Political Issue

• The concept of the state actor and their responsibilities

• How the Government affects social workers

• Social workers on the frontline of policy


11.15 Key legislation and institutions  

• How the departments work

• Parliamentary scrutiny

• How policy becomes law

12.30 LUNCH

13.15 Points of Influence – past campaigns

• How to influence policy

• Who to influence

• When to do it 

14.15 COFFEE

14.30 Workshop: Starting a policy campaign

• Chose an issue

• Map areas of influence

• Plan a campaign

16.00 Q&A and next steps

16.30 CLOSE


Further information