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SASW Report – April 2013

Annual Members Meeting
The SASW Annual Members meeting will be held on 15 May in Edinburgh. The meeting will primarily focus on members views about the direction of travel for SASW in the coming year and what you want presented in the public arena, from the practitioner’s perspective, about the future shape of social work. However, it will also give an opportunity to discuss the agenda for the UK Annual General Meeting in Derby on 27 June, which in past years has seen little representation from members in Scotland because of the difficulty in finding the time to travel and attend the meeting. If you are unable to make the AGM you can use proxy vote to ensure your views are heard.

You may wish to become more active within the Association, either locally or nationally. We are looking for new members to join the Scotland Committee so if you have an interest in this or know someone you want to nominate please contact the office [see panel below] and we will put you in touch with a current committee member to find out what is involved.

MHO Study Day
Plans are well underway for the next annual gathering of mental health officers (MHOs) from across Scotland. Again we are looking for examples of good practice or issues you want explored in the workshops, so ideas should be sent to The event takes place on Tuesday 1 October at Perth Concert Hall when a rich programme is planned, supported again by the Scottish Government.

Legislation and policy developments
There are three main issues other than the integration of health and social care services that members need to be aware we are working on. The consultation on the criminal justice services ended in April and our response is available on the SASW website. The Children and Young People’s Bill has been introduced into parliament and we are planning further submissions ahead of Stage 1 of the Bill which will arrive in Parliament in the autumn.

We have also been raising awareness of the apparent lack of training and preparation for social workers about the Children’s Hearings Act 2011, which is due to come into force in June this year and are particularly interested in hearing from members about where this has been done satisfactorily or where there are gaps in the preparation.

“The time has come, the Walrus said, to speak of many things … ”
SASW Manager Ruth Stark outlines her plans to move on from the Association within the next few months.

“Some of you will already have heard that I am planning to retire later this year. I first worked in the BASW Scotland Office back in 1990-91 organising an IFSW European Seminar in Glasgow (Love, Law and the Child). I enjoyed it so much that when Ian Johnston went to Birmingham to take up the post of Chief Executive of BASW UK in 1999 I took over his post in Scotland.

In that time Scotland has restored its Parliament, we have had a fundamental review of social work services, we have firmly established that social work is about helping people achieve positive changes in their lives and BASW Scotland has become the Scottish Association of Social Work and grown in membership by over 50%. I have now reached that golden age when the baton needs to pass to someone else to take on the future development of the voice of social work in Scotland, through SASW.

It’s a great job so look out for the advertisement and let your colleagues know about the possibility to influence social work developments over the next few years.