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Hilton Dawson’s call for Social Work Act of Parliament

It’s time for social work to get off its collective knees and launch a revolution in the great May tradition, says BASW chief executive Hilton Dawson in his PSW column next month.

Calling for a social work revolution befitting the radical history of May Day and May 1968, he urges the profession to “take up our responsibility to improve the standing and the impact of what can be the best work in the world”.

Mr Dawson highlights “crucial proposals” in BASW’s Manifesto for Social Work, particularly the need for a Social Work Act of Parliament to provide the basis for an effective College of Social Work, and asks members to press their parliamentary candidates to sign up to the manifesto’s aims before the General Election on May 6.

He promises a lively Annual General Meeting on May 20 with a competition for key leadership positions and a vote on the College, following the announcement of the referendum result. All who took part in the referendum will have recognised that the College is a “transforming opportunity” for social work, he says in the article, and that BASW must take a leading role in a College led by the profession.

Mr Dawson adds: “Whatever your views on the best way forward – and you can bet on the situation remaining fluid right up to the Council meeting on the morning of the AGM – this will be the biggest decision since BASW was founded. Please make sure you take part in it.”

He told PSW that issues like workload, career structure and the standing of the profession hung in the balance and that there was all to play for at the AGM. “This is the most important month for social work in a long time and every social worker in the country can take action to transform our profession. That’s why they should get along to the AGM and talk to every parliamentary candidate in every constituency.”