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SASW report – July/August 2012

 

With Ruth Stark in Scandinavia for a month it is my chance to try out the captain’s chair on the bridge. I think it suits me!
 
I am writing this fresh from the BASW Annual General Meeting where a motion was passed requiring the BASW council to “… demonstrate transparency by opening up its business to members … and to enable effective communication that will aid planning and decision making”. In light of this, I would make an appeal for Scottish members to try to become more involved in the life of the Association, whether by contributing view or serving on committees and sub groups.
 
An AGM workshop on a “Federated UK Structure for BASW” (the relationship between the four countries and, possibly, a new college) attracted only members from England. Understandably, there were concerns that any change or increase of local operational autonomy might weaken the UK organisation’s voice. The only representatives from the other countries present were BASW staff. 
 
We are a member’s organisation and it is vital that SASW’s members are involved in these discussions. BASW needs a structure which will maximise the effectiveness within each country, while retaining the strength, weight and influence of the UK membership behind all UK and international initiatives. BASW and SASW will continue consulting with members so please look out for relevant e-bulletins and ROSTRUM/PSW features.
 
Professional development
With the Scottish Parliament now in summer recess, business does not get any slower for SASW. We are completing a robust response to the Health and Social Care integration consultation, which is closing shortly. We are converting the ideas and themes raised at the SASW Annual Meeting into a practical implementation plan for the next year.
 
Further work continues on developing the ‘creative middle managers’ group; the Criminal Justice Forum, and our students and NQSWs forums. Despite this we still have room for more invitations to team meetings and workplaces. We would like to consult with your team about your area of work, and to raise awareness of developments in Scotland in which we are involved, and how SASW can help build professional confidence.
 
The programme of new local SASW CPD Seminars continues to roll out. The first of these was in Inverness on 20 June, where 38 delegates attended. The theme was ‘Coping with Traumatic Death including Suicide’ and was led by David Hewitson, a former hospital social work team leader. Delegates included health service employees and a representative from education. Look out for our publications and e-bulletins for future dates, venues and subjects.
 
Criminal justice 
If you work in criminal justice, you will be aware of the range of current issues in this sector. The impact on resources of the community payback orders, the recommendations of the review of women offenders’ services, including the consideration of a National Community Justice Service, are major issues. SASW will be in the midst of this, representing the interests of members. We will try to make sure that any changes take account of the requirements of professional practice.
 
MHO event 
Our MHO study day takes place on 4 October, at the Perth Concert Hall, where the Wilma McDonald Award (SASW MHO of the Year) will be presented. Contact the Scotland office for your nomination forms, and return them before the closing date, 3 September.