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BASW reveals College convergence plan

BASW is considering a plan to move towards convergence with the College of Social Work, following discussions last week. BASW’s UK Council agreed last week to present convergence proposals to the board of the Interim College, ahead of several months of further deliberations.

Any concrete proposals for converging the two organisations would need the support of BASW’s Annual General Meeting in May 2011, ahead of the anticipated full launch of the College of Social Work in March 2012.

Commenting on the move, BASW chair Fran Fuller said: “The College of Social Work will change the face of the profession; it is a ground breaking and historic opportunity and it’s important that we get it right, which means examining what will produce the very best outcome for the profession and the thousands of families that social work supports.”

The plan is set to be discussed by the Interim College Board at its next meeting in September.

Commenting on the current strategy for advancing plans for a college, Stephen Goulder, director of corporate services and workforce development at the Social Care Institute for Excellence, and lead for the College of Social Work, said: “We strongly believe that by working with trade unions and BASW on a collaborative basis, we will be able to provide a comprehensive and affordable offer to potential members of the College.”

Interim College officials acknowledged that partnering with an organisation that already offers membership services – whether BASW, a trade union or both – could prove more cost effective than developing a completely new organisation.

Separately, BASW also welcomed the appointment of joint college interim chairs, Maurice Bates, a former director of social services, and professor Corinne May-Chahal. Mr Bates was formerly interim director of children’s services at North East Lincolnshire Council, while Ms May-Chahal is director of social work and professor of applied social science at Lancaster University. They will commence work for the College on 1 August.