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Independent social work’s big future

A book to guide independent social workers through recessionary times was launched by BASW chief executive Hilton Dawson at the independent’s conference in September. Commenting on the launch of the revised independent social work text, When the going gets tough, are you tough enough? Mr Dawson said: “These are tough times and I don’t think there could be a better bible than this book I am launching today.

“In adult services in particular there is a very worrying trend to reduce the number of social workers as tasks grow and develop as times get harder, a trend that is very worrying.” However, Mr Dawson also told the conference that this was a time of opportunity for the profession. “The government is saying that it wants social workers to do social work. The government is saying it supports the profession of social work,” he said.

Pointing to BASW plans to launch its own Social Work Bill in October Mr Dawson said independent social work would have a prominent place in a reformed profession. He describe comments by the Association of Directors of Children’s Services president Marion Davis, in which she questioned the role of independent social work, as “unhelpful”.

“We are saying we can take charge of setting the standards of social work for the future. Independent social work is a big part of the future of social work and I think we are heading for a new structure for the delivery of services and much greater empowerment of the profession. Independent social workers, social work practices, collectives, co-operatives all have a huge part to play,” he concluded.